UC Davis MIND Institute faculty members lead global event focused on FMR1
UC Davis MIND Institute faculty are organizing an international conference for researchers and clinicians who study and treat fragile-X related conditions.
The International Conference on FMR1 premutation: Molecular Mechanisms, Clinical Involvements and Target Treatments takes place in New Zealand in late February and early March. The event is accepting abstracts and registrations.
Flora Tassone and Paul Hagerman, both professors in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, are chairing the event. Together with MIND Institute Medical Director Randi J. Hagerman, Tassone and Paul Hagerman created the conference several years ago. This will be the fifth such event – and the first since 2019 due to the pandemic.
“We haven’t been together for four years, so we are expecting a very productive event,” Tassone said. “It’s so important that people studying the different aspects of the premutation collaborate to advance progress on the many medical conditions associated with FMR1.”
The genetic premutation in FMR1 is associated with several conditions:
- fragile X syndrome, which often includes physical characteristics such as long faces and larger ears as well as intellectual disability and autism
- FXTAS (fragile X-associated tremor ataxia syndrome), a neurodegenerative condition that often affects older males
- FXAND (fragile X-associated neuropsychiatric disorders), which includes anxiety, depression, insomnia and social deficits
- FXPOI (fragile X-associated primary ovarian insufficiency), which affects some female carriers of the premutation and may affect fertility
Tassone notes that researchers studying these conditions have much to learn from each other.
“There is so much research being done about the premutation, and it’s all connected. From people studying molecular mechanisms, mouse models, clinical aspects, prevalence in the general population, screening and more, we can help each other to break new ground.”
The MIND Institute is a sponsor of the event, along with the National Fragile X Foundation, Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Metabolon, Anavex Live Sciences Corp. and Asuragen.
Three keynote speakers will be featured:
- Darren G. Monckton, professor of Human Genetics, Institute of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow
- Marsha R. Mailick, vice chancellor for research and graduate education, emeritus, and the Vaughan Bascom and Elizabeth M. Boggs Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Jeremy Dan Schmahmann, professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and senior clinical neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital
- The fifth International Conference on FMR1 premutation: Molecular Mechanisms, Clinical Involvements and Target Treatments
- Feb 27 – March 2, 2023, Bay of Islands, New Zealand
- 30 deadline for abstracts to be considered for oral presentation