Dr Rachel Wevrick
MAGEL2, an autism and Prader-Willi syndrome candidate gene
Children with Prader-Willi syndrome have a high rate of autism spectrum disorders, with features including restricted and repetitive, compulsive and self-injurious behaviors. Prader-Willi syndrome is usually caused by the inactivation of a group of genes on chromosome 15. Recently, mutations in one of those genes, MAGEL2, were identified in children with autism and other features of Prader-Willi syndrome. Loss of MAGEL2 function is likely responsible for autism predisposition in children with Prader-Willi syndrome.
Rachel Wevrick and her team at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, have been investigating MAGEL2 in cellular and mouse models. MAGEL2 is important for moving proteins around inside each cell and for getting rid of proteins that are no longer useful. Wevrick and her team will investigate how MAGEL2 works inside brain cells (neurons) especially during infancy and childhood. This research, funded by the PWS Association of Alberta, will help us to understand how autistic behavior results when MAGEL2 is not present, as is the case in Prader-Willi syndrome
Dr Wevrick spoke at the 2012 FPWR Conference in Toronto regarding her mouse model research. This video is a recording of her presentation.
Dr. Wevricks along with Students Jenni and Vanessa who are working together on thier curent project mentioned above.