School of medicine

School Notes: School of Medicine
May/June 2017

Robert J. Alpern |

Professor wins prestigious cancer award

Craig M. Crews is the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research Award granted by the American Association of Cancer Research. This award is presented for outstanding, novel, and significant chemistry research which has led to important contributions to the fields of basic cancer research, translational cancer research, cancer diagnosis, the prevention of cancer, or the treatment of patients with cancer. Crews is the Lewis B. Cullman Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and professor of chemistry, as well as executive director of the Yale Center for Molecular Discovery.

Genes associated with autism linked to evolutionary brain benefit

Genetic variants linked to autism spectrum disorders (ASD) may have been positively selected during human evolution because they also contribute to enhanced cognition, a new Yale study suggests. A study based on a genome-wide association study of ASD conducted by the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium and information regarding evolutionary gene selection showed that inherited variants linked to ASD were found under positive selection in larger numbers than would have been expected by chance.

“In this case, we found a strong positive signal that, along with autism spectrum disorder, these variants are also associated with intellectual achievement,” said Renato Polimanti, associate research scientist at Yale School of Medicine and VA Connecticut Health Center in West Haven, and first author of the paper. The research was published February 27 in the journal PLOS Genetics.

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