funds additional $775K of new research projects in Q1 2017

(Cincinnati, OH) The International Rett Syndrome Foundation, now doing business as, announces the addition of six research projects to its Research Portfolio in the first quarter of 2017. A commitment of $775,000, through research grants, brings the largest non-governmental private funder of Rett research above the recently attained milestone of $40M research dollars to $41M. These funds have continually been designated to accelerate research for Rett syndrome.

The six projects listed below are augmentative to's full-spectrum research strategy. This strategy focuses on bringing drugs and treatments forward for implementation in clinical care. continues to work towards a cure for Rett syndrome.

Basic Research Program

Kevin Jones, PhD, University of Colorado Boulder: Awarded: $150,000
Testing potential regulators of BDNF expression to identify candidate Rett syndrome therapeutics

Colleen Niswender, PhD, Vanderbilt University: Awarded: $150,000
Exploration of metabotropic glutamate receptor 3 as a target for MeCP2-related disorders

Translational Research Program

Qiang Chang, PhD, University of Wisconsin – Madison: Awarded: $150,000
In Vitro and In Vivo Validation of Candidate Drugs to Treat Rett Syndrome

Jeannie Lee, MD, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital: Awarded: $149,996
Reactivating the silent MECP2 allele through a synergistic drug mechanism

Neuro-Habilitation Program

Pam Diener, PhD Georgetown University: Awarded $75,000
Virtual Reality Gaming May Support the Development of Purposeful Upper Extremity Use in Individuals with Rett Syndrome

Mentored Training Fellowship Program

Billy Lau, PhD, University of Tennessee-Knoxville: Awarded $100,000
Co-Mentors: Stephen Shea, PhD and Keerthi Krishnan, PhD
Cortical inhibitory mechanism governing auditory perception in MeCP2+/-'s Chief Science Officer, Steve Kaminsky, PhD comments on these new research projects "Together these research projects we have chosen to fund are very focused on bringing the science into the clinic with hopes to accelerate change in the quality of life for those suffering with Rett syndrome. We are excited to work with these research investigators as they are making progress towards potential treatments and therapies for Rett syndrome." wishes to thank all those who are making a difference in the lives of all those diagnosed with Rett syndrome and their families and caregivers. At the heart of all research decisions are the girls and boys that so desperately need our help.


About is the most comprehensive nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating research of treatments and a cure for Rett syndrome and related disorders while providing information and family empowerment. As the world's leading private funder of Rett syndrome research, has funded over $40M in high-quality, peer-reviewed research grants and programs to date. The organization hosts the largest global gathering of Rett researchers and clinicians to establish research direction for the future., a 501(c)3 organization, has earned Charity Navigator's prestigious 3 star rating year after year. To learn more about our work and Rett syndrome, visit or call (800) 818-7388 (RETT).

About Rett syndrome (RTT)

Rett syndrome is a rare non-inherited genetic postnatal neurological disorder that occurs almost exclusively in girls and leads to severe impairments, affecting nearly every aspect of a child's life: their ability to speak, walk, eat, and even breathe. The hallmark of Rett syndrome is near constant repetitive hand movements. Cognitive assessment in children with Rett syndrome is complicated, but we know that they understand far more than they can communicate to us, evidenced by their bright and attentive eyes.

Media Contact

Janice Ascano, PhD
[email protected]