The Rett Syndrome Research Foundation (RSRF) has awarded 16 new grants and four new postdoctoral fellowship awards to foster research on the genetic causes of Rett Syndrome and specific aspects of its pathology. Dr. Mark Groudine, executive vice president and deputy director, is among the recipients.
The foundation supports studies to improve the understanding of Rett Syndrome, a debilitating genetic-neurological disorder that primarily affects girls after their first two years of life. Symptoms include mental retardation and the loss of physical and verbal skills. The disease is caused by a defect in a protein known as MECP2, which binds to DNA that is chemically modified in the cell by a process known as methylation.
Groudine's $55,000 grant will support studies to understand how MECP2 protein interacts with other proteins in human neuronal cells.
Founded in 1999, RSRF is committed to supporting research that will lead to treatments and an eventual cure for Rett Syndrome. RSRF's funding commitment for 2006 is $2.3 million. To date, the foundation has awarded more than $11 million to leading labs around the world.