Under the guidance of our Scientific Advisory Board through a carefully managed grants process, FPWR selects research projects based on the collaborative input of researchers and parents, choosing projects that are both scientifically meritorious and highly relevant for individuals with PWS and their families.

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Assessment of Epigenetic Driven Circadian Rhythm Defects in Neurons from Individuals with PWS (Year 2)

Funded Year: 2020

Dr. Reiter’s lab looks at stem cell lines from the teeth of PWS subjects to look at the sleep/wake cycle, called the circadian rhythm. People with PWS have a hard time with regulating this cycle. This project will use these stem cell lines to look at the PWS circadian rhythm patterns, as well as changes in DNA that are known to happen at...

The Functional Development of Hunger Neurons in Prader-Willi syndrome (Year 2)

Funded Year: 2020

Dr. Dietrich’s lab has been working on “hunger” neurons, Agrp neurons, that are contained in the hypothalamus in animal brains. They have found that PWS-related genes, particularly Magel2, are enriched in Agrp neurons. In the second year of funding for this study, they will use a mouse model that is missing Magel2 to look at the function of the...

Long Non-Coding RNAs Transcribed From Prader-Willi syndrome Locus: Key Regulators of Gene Expression

Funded Year: 2020

Dr. Grzechnik’s lab is interested in uncovering the biological mechanisms underlying PWS. The deletion in the PWS locus affects the regulation of gene expression in neurons, but scientists are not exactly sure how this mechanism works. This current project is testing how coding and non-coding regions of the human genome are transcribed in cells...

Engineering Epigenome Editing Tools For Sustained Reactivation of Maternal PWS Genes

Funded Year: 2020

Dr. Iglesias has been working on potential genetic therapies for PWS and has shown that ‘epigenome editing’ can reactivate the maternal genes in the PWS region in human cells. The current study will focus on determining the molecular requirements to permanently reactivate the maternal genes in the PWS region, so that gene expression is maintained...

Novel Transcriptomic Signatures in Blood and Brain Predictive of Behavioral Issues in PWS

Funded Year: 2020

Dr. Godler’s lab is interested in identifying early predictors of autism and serious mental illness in PWS. In their preliminary data, they have found that inflammatory pathways linked to UBE3A (a key gene that regulates normal brain development and immune cell function) were affected differently in PWS caused by uniparental disomy (UPD),...

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