Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Developmental Medicine
405A One Magnolia Circle
Dr. Peters is a psychologist whose research program focuses on the detailed characterization of neurogenetic disorders associated with autism spectrum phenotypes. Currently, she is using genetic, behavioral and biomarker approaches to identify common behaviors, and biological/neurophysiological biomarkers in Rett Syndrome, MECP2 duplication syndrome, and idiopathic autism. She uses a variety of methods including clinical assessment, eye-tracking, auditory/visual evoked potentials, and then examines how these correspond to levels of gene/protein expression. Some of these methodologies offer a novel assessment method for autism-related social impairment in populations of individuals who are non-verbal/low-functioning, a group that is often excluded from research studies. By using these approaches, we can identify/refine potential targets for treatment both within and beyond these conditions, and will provide further insights into how alterations in MECP2 gene expression and MeCP2 protein contribute to autism spectrum features.
Sarika Peters, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Member, presents at the monthly developmental disabilities grand rounds series for clinicians, researchers, trainees, and students on November 17, 2010.