Noted neuroscientist Sur set to deliver Discovery LectureNov. 15, 2012, 10:23 AM
Mriganka Sur, Ph.D., will deliver the next Flexner Discovery Lecture on Thursday, Nov. 29.
His talk, “Mechanisms and emerging therapeutics for Autism Spectrum Disorders,” will begin at 4 p.m. in 208 Light Hall.
Sur is the Newton Professor of Neuroscience and director of the Simons Center for the Social Brain at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine.
Sur’s laboratory studies brain development and plasticity — the ability of brain connections to reorganize based on new experiences — in order to uncover mechanisms underlying disorders of brain development and to identify new therapies for neurodevelopmental disorders.
His lab is focusing on Rett syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the gene coding for methyl CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2). Rett syndrome is classified among the “autism spectrum disorders” and is the leading known genetic cause of autism in girls.
Using a mouse model of Rett syndrome to investigate the mechanisms by which these mutations prevent the development of mature brain circuitry, his group has determined that deficits can be at least partially restored with therapeutic agents, which are now in clinical trials for treating Rett syndrome.
The Department of Pediatrics is sponsoring Sur’s lecture. For a complete schedule of the Flexner Discovery Lecture series and archived video of previous lectures, go to http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/discoveryseries.