The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) encourage grant applications for basic and clinical research on Rett syndrome and MeCP2.*
Rett syndrome is a severely disabling childhood neurological disorder that affects 1 in 10,000-15,000 females. Until recently, little progress had been made in understanding the cause of the disorder or in developing approaches for treating it. However, the demonstration that mutations in the MeCP2 gene cause Rett suggests new avenues for research and therapy development.
Examples of potential areas of research interest include: developmental, neuroanatomical, electrophysiological, and imaging studies intended to identify specific abnormalities in Rett patients or in animal models of Rett; studies of the role of the MeCP2 gene product in basic cellular processes; structure/function analyses of MeCP2; investigation of the role of MeCP2 in other neurological or neurobehavioral disorders, and studies of other conditions and clinical abnormalities that co-occur in the families of individuals with Rett; identification and analysis of genes misexpressed in Rett patients or Rett animal models; development of more sophisticated animal models for Rett; neurodevelopmental and longitudinal studies of Rett patients that investigate the neuropathological progression and inherent variability of the disease; identification of potential molecular targets for drug therapy of Rett; pre-clinical screening of potential therapeutic agents in cellular or animal models of Rett; clinical studies of the problems that afflict children with Rett, including autonomic disorders and difficulties with literacy and communication; and clinical trials of therapeutic agents for the treatment or management of Rett.
For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. Robert Finkelstein, Program Director, Neurogenetics Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2143, Bethesda, MD 20892; telephone: 301-496-5745; fax: 301-402-1501; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*For a more detailed description of this program announcement, please visit the NIH web site at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-03-097.html.