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Yuan-Chen Tsai, PhD, receives 2023 FRAXA Fellowship

Posted: 2023-05-16

Source: UCI News
News Type: 

Pictured from left: Yuan-Chen Tsai, PhD, and Momoko Watanabe, PhD working in lab at UCI

Yuan-Chen Tsai, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology at the UCI School of Medicine, has been awarded a FRAXA fellowship for her work on fragile X syndrome and Autism.

Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common inherited cause of Autism and other neurological disorders and occurs when a single gene shuts down in the X chromosome. As a result, this gene does not form the protein needed for proper brain development.

Dr. Tsai was awarded the fellowship for her research on making a new in vitro human brain organoid model for Fragile X syndrome (FXS). She hopes to use the model to better understand the pathology in FXS and establish it as a drug testing platform.

Currently working in the lab of Momoko Watanabe, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, Dr. Tsai obtained her master’s in neuroscience from University College London and her doctorate in neuroscience from the University of Zurich.

FRAXA Research Foundation offers grants and fellowships program designed to encourage research aimed at finding a specific treatment for fragile X syndrome. FRAXA's goal is to bring practical treatment into current medical practice as quickly as possible.

FRAXA fellowships are $50,000 per year for two years, and are offered to support individuals pursuing research on fragile X. Over $1 million is offered each year in fragile X scholarships by the FRAXA Research Foundation.