Caregiver Perspectives Wanted on Future Genetic Therapies for Fragile X

We are keen to hear from you what your thoughts are on gene therapy and its potential use in Fragile X Syndrome (FXS). While various interventions to help people with FXS are available, there are currently no medicines or other therapies that target the underlying genetic change which causes the condition.  Gene therapy represents a different therapeutic approach as it specifically targets the underlying genetic factors which lead to FXS. Early studies in laboratories have shown that gene therapy might …

FRAXA funding awarded to Patrick Wild Centre members investigating touch processing in Fragile X Syndrome

Congratulations to Damien Wright on becoming a FRAXA postdoctoral fellow studying somatosensory processing in people with fragile X syndrome. Sensory sensitivities are increasingly recognised as important causes of anxiety and distress in people with fragile X syndrome, with recent studies highlighting the potential importance of touch sensitivity in particular. In order to develop interventions for these issues, we first need a valid and reliable way to measure sensitivity to touch in people with fragile X. Damien, supported by Patrick Wild …

RECONNECT clinical trial – Recruitment deadline extended

Update: The deadline has been extended until November 2023 The Patrick Wild Centre is currently running the RECONNECT clinical trial for children and adolescents with fragile X syndrome. The link below will take you to a website with more information about the trial and a place to enter your details if you are thinking of participating.  Or feel free to just contact us directly at pwcresearch@ed.ac.uk Learn more about a clinical trial evaluating investigational topical cannabidiol (CBD) gel to see …

Participants wanted for online study exploring technology-use in individuals with Fragile X Syndrome

Published

We are looking for volunteers to take part in an online research study with your son/daughter. You can complete this study online or at home. The research study is being conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Surrey, University College Dublin, the University of Oxford, the University of Edinburgh, Dublin City University and Autistica. We are aiming to gain a better understanding of the patterns of technology-use in people with Fragile X Syndrome and how these relate …

Launch of the Winefride and Booth Smith PhD Studentships

We are delighted to announce the launch of the Patrick Wild Centre’s new 10 year PhD scheme: The Winefride and Booth Smith Studentships. The studentships are made possible by a very generous legacy bequest from Mrs Winefride Smith, the sister of Dr Alfred Wild and Patrick Wild after whom the university named the Patrick Wild Centre for Research into Autism, Fragile X Syndrome and Intellectual Disabilities. Winefride (Winnie) Violet Wild was born in Edinburgh in 1911. She was the fourth of …

Launch of the Patrick Wild Centre eHub

We are excited to announce the launch of our new online portal, the Patrick Wild Centre eHub, on the 10th October 2020, European Fragile X Awareness Day. The aim of the eHub is to collect detailed information about large groups of people with fragile X, the premutation and a comparison group using short, widely used surveys which will then be repeated every 2 years.  The idea is to gradually build up a rich picture about how these conditions affect people …

Professor Sir Adrian Bird jointly awarded The Brain Prize 2020

Published

The Patrick Wild Centre would like to congratulate Professor Sir Adrian Bird on being jointly awarded The Brain Prize 2020 with Professor Huda Zohgbi (Baylor College of Medicine in Texas). Affectionately known as the ‘Nobel of Neuroscience’ this is one of the most prestigious prizes a neuroscientist can be awarded. Established by the Danish-based Lundbeck Foundation, it is awarded each year to one or more brain researchers who have had a ground-breaking impact on brain research. 2020 is the 10th …

Researcher in Spotlight – Chris Sibley

In our website feature “Researcher in Spotlight” this month we ask our researcher Chris Sibley to tell us a bit more about himself. Could you give us a quick overview of your background and career so far? I received my BA in Physiological Sciences, MSc in Neuroscience, and DPhil developing RNA-based therapies for neurological disease from Oxford University. I then moved to the lab of Professor Jernej Ule to carry out my post-doc focussed on RNA regulation. This was initially …

Wellcome Trust Fellowship success

Congratulations to Dr Emily Osterweil for being awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship (SRF) to study ribosome function in neuronal plasticity and autism. These fellowships are awarded to “support independent researchers who are emerging as global leaders in their field and want to tackle the most important questions in science.” The 5 year fellowship will allow Dr Osterweil to develop her research defining the role of altered protein synthesis in neurodevelopmental disorders.    

Congratulations to Dr Nathalie Rochefort who has been awarded a ERC Consolidator Grant!

The European Research Council awarded Consolidator Grants to 301 top scientists and scholars across Europe. Funding for these researchers, part of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, is worth in total €600 million, and is very competitive. With this support, the new grantees will have a chance to build up their teams and have far-reaching impact. The ERC Consolidator Grants are awarded to outstanding researchers of any nationality and age, with at least seven and up to twelve years …

Researcher in Spotlight – Nathalie Rochefort

Nathalie Rochefort is a Chancellor’s fellow and a Sir Henry Dale fellow at the University of Edinburgh. She is a sensory neuroscientist whose goal is to understand how neural activity in the visual cortex underlies our perception of a visual scene. As an undergraduate, she studied Biology and Epistemology in Paris. She then obtained a European PhD in Neuroscience from the University Paris-VI and the Ruhr-Universität-Bochum and did her post-doctoral training at the Technical University in Munich. Her work during …

Researcher in Spotlight – Richard Chin

In our website feature “Researcher in Spotlight” this month we ask our researcher Richard Chin to tell us a bit more about himself. Could you give us a quick overview of your background and career so far? I graduated in medicine from the University of the West Indies and came to the UK on a Commonwealth Fellowship in Paediatric Neurology. I did my PhD in Neurosciences at the Institute of Child Health, University College London before taking up an NIHR …

SIDB Annual Research Retreat 2019

The SIDB recently held it’s Annual Research Retreat. This included a two-day programme of presentations, discussion and interactive dialogue, which took place from 12-13 September 2019 in Edinburgh. The event brought together around 150 VIP guests, autism academics and PhD students to present some of their most recent work in the field of autism and to discuss future development and research plans. It also provided a valuable networking opportunity and set the stage for further collaboration between academics working in …

Researcher in Spotlight – Mike Cousin

In our website feature “Researcher in Spotlight” this month we ask our researcher Mike Cousin to tell us a bit more about himself. Could you give us a quick overview of your background and career so far? After graduating from the University of Edinburgh (Biochemistry), I completed a PhD (Biochemistry again) at the University of Dundee.  After continuing my postdoctoral training at the Neurosciences Institute in Dundee, I won two fellowships (Royal Society / Human Frontiers of Science) to work …

Cycling 500 miles across Ireland to raise money for the Patrick Wild Centre

A big thank you to James Waterson and Alastair Dickie who cycled 500 miles across Ireland to raise money in aid of The Patrick Wild Centre. James’s son Harry has Fragile X Syndrome – he was the motivation to take on this fundraising challenge. James and Alastair cycled 500 miles from Mizen to Malin Head on the Atlantic Coast of Ireland to raise awareness and funding for the Patrick Wild Centre for Research into Autism, Fragile X Syndrome and Intellectual …

Fragile X-associated conditions: implications for the whole family

Colleagues from the Patrick Wild Centre have recently published a paper in BJGP journal with the focus on Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) in primary care. It argues that clinicians in primary care should be aware of the condition and in particular be vigilant for common comorbidities to allow for early treatment. It points out that the familial nature of FXS is of importance to general practice. The article summarises the common issues for individuals with FXS and carriers of the …

First SYNGAP1 UK Family Meet Up

The Patrick Wild Centre was excited to host the first UK SYNGAP1 Family Meet Up in June 2019!  Families from around the UK and other parts of Europe came together in Edinburgh for a day of presentations about SYNGAP1 and neurodevelopmental disorders more generally.  Distinguished speakers from many different National Health Service, university and charitable organisations shared their expertise.  They covered everything from laboratory science SYNGAP1 studies to the SYNGAP1 Syndrome in people, the mapping out of SYNGAP1 clinical research …

Launch of the Neuro-GD Study

Dr Andy Stanfield is pleased to announce the launch of the Neuro-GD study which aims to better understand the clinical features of people with genetic conditions associated with intellectual disability and autism.  The initial focus is on SYNGAP1 related intellectual disability and fragile X syndrome but more conditions will be added. For more information click here.

Statin may be used to treat Fragile X Syndrome

Published

Co-Director of the Patrick Wild Centre Professor Peter Kind and colleagues have recently published a study showing that a drug named lovastatin, which is commonly used to lower cholesterol, corrected learning and memory problems in rats with a form of Fragile X Syndrome. Rats were treated with the drug for four weeks during infancy, but the benefits persisted for months afterwards. Fragile X Syndrome is one of the most common genetic causes of intellectual disability, and is often associated with …

Researcher in Spotlight – Stuart Cobb

in our website feature “Researcher in Spotlight” this month we ask our researcher Stuart Cobb to tell us a bit more about himself Could you give us a quick overview of your background and career so far? I graduated in Pharmacology from the University of Glasgow, having studied the first part of my degree at Queen’s University, Canada. I then moved to the University of Oxford to conduct early studies on the role of interneurons in brain oscillations. I continued …

A novel mechanism for timing of neuronal activity

Derek Garden, Marlies Oostland, Ian Duguid, Matt Nolan and colleagues have published a study demonstrating a novel mechanism for timing of neuronal activity. The study suggests new directions for research into mechanisms for cognitive deficits in psychiatric disorders. The study focusses on a relatively under-explored brain area called the inferior olive. Neurons in this area are a key coordinator of activity in the cerebellum, forming a system that is well studied for its role in movement and that is also …

Researcher in Spotlight – Adrian Bird

In our website feature “Researcher in Spotlight” this month we ask our researcher Adrian Bird to tell us a bit more about himself.   Could you give us a quick overview of your background and career so far? I have held the Buchanan Chair of Genetics since 1990. I graduated in Biochemistry from the University of Sussex and obtained a PhD in Edinburgh. That was followed by postdoctoral experience at Yale and Zurich Universities, after which I joined the MRC …

Researcher in Spotlight – James Boardman

Published

In our website feature “Researcher in Spotlight” this month we ask our researcher James Boardman to tell us a bit more about himself. Could you give us a quick overview of your background and career so far? I studied medicine at UCL and took an intercalated BSc in Neuroscience during this time. I completed postgraduate paediatric training in London, including a part-time MSc in clinical paediatrics at UCL, and then took time out of the clinic to do my PhD …

Insights into depression could aid development of new treatments

Published

Dr Christos Gkogkas and colleagues have published a study that may shed light on why a certain category of antidepressant drugs stop working in some people. They have pinpointed a key molecule, eIF4E, that may protect the brain from depression.  The team studied mice that were bred to have defects in their ability to activate eIF4E and these animals showed signs of depression, including reduced levels of the hormone serotonin, which is a hallmark of the condition.  The mice also showed …