Preventive Autism Treatment Focus of Research Awards
(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) - The Hartwell Foundation has presented an Individual Biomedical Research Award to Professor Judy A. Van de Water of the University of California, Davis, recognizing research that could affect nearly one in every four cases of autism among children in the U.S.
Van de Water, an immunologist and professor of internal medicine in the UC Davis School of Medicine, is one of 11 scientists from throughout the U.S. selected to receive the award that recognizes early-stage, innovative and leading-edge biomedical research with the potential to benefit children in the United States.
Van de Water is an autism researcher affiliated with the UC Davis MIND Institute. She is the eighth UC Davis researcher selected for the honor since 2008. Awardees receive $100,000 direct costs each year for three years.
In 2013, Van de Water described how unique antibodies in the bloodstream of some pregnant mothers target proteins critical to the fetal brain development. The discovery represents the first definitive cause for a subset of cases of non-genetic causes of autism. Van de Water coined the term maternal autoantibody-related (MAR) autism to describe the 23 percent of autism cases associated with maternal autoantibodies.
Finding a way to target autoantibodies
Her research is focused on finding a way to target these autoantibodies to fetal brain proteins with antibody blocking peptides (smaller, synthetic segments of specific fetal brain protein).
"The availability of a therapy to prevent MAR autism has the potential to eliminate nearly one in four cases of autism among U.S. children. If successful, such a therapy will improve the quality of life for children who would have been affected, as well as their families, while also reducing the estimated $29 billion per year in societal cost currently incurred through autism therapies," Van de Water said.
The research would test the effectiveness of the peptides in blocking fetal exposure to the antibodies in a mouse model of MAR autism, while maintaining desired (normal) behavior in offspring. Early identification of the autoantibodies in the affected mother would allow for early medical interventions to limit fetal exposure to autoantibodies and the consequent risk of her child developing autism spectrum disorder.
Top Ten Center designation
In addition to the individual award, The Hartwell Foundation designated UC Davis as one of its Top Ten Centers for Biomedical Research for the fourth consecutive year. Other prominent institutions selected include University of Michigan, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
In selecting each research center of excellence, The Hartwell Foundation takes into account the shared values the institution has with the Foundation relating to children's health, the presence of an associated medical school and biomedical engineering program, and the quality and scope of ongoing biomedical research. The Foundation also considers the institutional commitment to support collaboration, provide encouragement, and extend technical support to the investigator, especially as related to translational approaches and technology transfer that could promote rapid clinical application of research results.
"The Hartwell Foundation seeks to inspire innovation and achievement by offering individual researchers an opportunity to realize their professional goals. We believe that philanthropy is a serious responsibility and that wealth appropriately used is an essential mechanism for improving the state of mankind," said Fred Dombrose, president of The Hartwell Foundation. "Through a unique and selective funding process, we provide financial support to stimulate discovery in early-stage biomedical research that we hope will benefit children of the United States. UC Davis has been a key partner with the foundation in accomplishing this goal."
In the Hartwell competition, nominees submit a detailed research proposal. A subset of nominees are personally interviewed and make a formal presentation of their proposed research. In selecting awardees, The Hartwell Foundation takes into account the nature of the proposed innovation, the extent to which a strategic or translational approach might promote rapid clinical application of research results, the supportive role and extent of collaboration in the proposed research, the institutional commitment to provide encouragement and technical support to the investigator, and the extent to which funding the investigator will make a difference.
About The Hartwell Foundation
Located in Memphis, Tenn., The Hartwell Foundation seeks to inspire innovation and achievement by offering individual researchers an opportunity to realize their professional goals. The Foundation believes that philanthropy is a serious responsibility and that wealth appropriately used is an essential mechanism for improving the state of mankind. Through a unique and selective funding process, the Foundation provides financial support to stimulate discovery in early-stage biomedical research that has potential to benefit children of the United States. For more information about The Hartwell Foundation, visit http://www.thehartwellfoundation.org.
About UC Davis
UC Davis is a global community of individuals united to better humanity and our natural world while seeking solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. Located near the California state capital, UC Davis has more than 34,000 students, and the full-time equivalent of 4,100 faculty and other academics and 17,400 staff. The campus has an annual research budget of over $750 million, a comprehensive health system and about two dozen specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and 99 undergraduate majors in four colleges and six professional schools.
More about the research: http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/publish/news/newsroom/7439
Comment / Share on Facebook
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesOne-Armed Softball Phenom: Part 2Recently, you may have read the first of two columns featuring 17-year-old Katelyn Pavey, a one-armed, fastpitch softball phenom
Surplus Water: Placer County Water Agency Plans SaleThe Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors has approved a resolution that allows for the transfer and sale of up to 20,000 acre-feet of surplus water
Roseville Flash Crime Report (7.23.16)Roseville, CA- Weekly crime report digest update for Roseville, covering the period of July 14- 22, 2016.
Kings Beach Project Wins National AwardKings Beach, CA - A cornerstone project that is transforming the North Lake Tahoe community of Kings Beach's downtown has been given a prestigious national award
Roseville Hospital gets Suessical VisitRoseville, CA- It isn't every day that storybook characters come alive at Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center.
Nevada City Shines Best at Night Nevada City, CA- Nevada City's charm shines more brightly at night. At least that was the takeaway following a midweek date night with my wife.
Rubio's Opens New Restaurant in Roseville August 4thRoseville, CA - Rubio's Restaurants, Inc., the popular fast casual chain known for uniquely delicious coastal cuisine and popularizing the fish taco, has announced the opening of a new location in Roseville
Roseville and Lincoln to Host Girls Fastpitch Western National ChampionshipRoseville, CA - The ASA/USA 14u Class A Girls Fastpitch Western National Championship in Roseville and Lincoln July 25- 31.
Roseville Residents Motoring for Less this SummerRoseville, CA- Roseville residents are motoring for less this summer as gas prices continue to push lower.
Updates on Rocklin HomicideRocklin, CA- The injuries of the victim were consistent with a blunt force trauma-type injury although information about the weapon used will not be released.
Mummy Man Robs Rocklin BankRocklin, CA- On Wednesday, 07/20/2016, at approximately 4:00pm, Rocklin Police responded to a robbery call at the US Bank located inside the Safeway Supermarket
Gunshots in Roseville Lead to Manhunt and Highway ClosuresRoseville, CA- Despite a large manhunt in Roseville following early morning gunshots, it appears the two male suspects have eluded police at this time.
NEWS: In Case You Missed It