Dr. Jessica Klusek has received an Early Career R21 Award from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Dr. Klusek spent three years in the NDD Lab for a postdoctoral fellowship before joining the USC Communication Sciences and Disorders department as an assistant professor in 2016. Her research focuses on communication disorders associated with autism and fragile X syndrome.
She will use the three-year, $440K grant to advance her research on the FMR1 premutation, aiming to delineate the full range of oral and written language features associated with the FMR1 premutation as well as their interface with cognitive-executive aspects of the phenotype and FMR1 gene dysfunction. This will be the first systematic investigation of language abilities in premutation carrier mothers—examining aspects of written and oral language that differ from non-carrier mothers and mothers who have children with autism spectrum disorder.
“This research will refine our understanding of the full range of language phenotypes linked with FMR1 gene dysfunction,” she says. “It will also inform the development of identification and treatment efforts targeted towards the specific needs of mothers who carry the FMR1 premutation and their families.”
If you’re interested in participating in Dr. Klusek’s study, you can learn more at http://www.scfamilystudy.com.