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NFXF Webinar Series: NIH Centers of Excellence 

Join us as we host Drs. Emily Allen, Craig Erickson, Peng Jin, Tracy King, David Nelson, and Peter Todd for a discussion on research in Fragile X. This is a great opportunity to delve into the significance of research, particularly during Advocacy Day, and to underscore the importance of ongoing support for Fragile X research from organizations like the NIH. The webinar will be a one-hour Q&A session, moderated by Hilary Rosselot.

We recommend reviewing the 2023 update at the following link:

Come prepared with your questions. You may also submit your questions in advance when completing your registration. We will do our best to answer as many questions as possible.

If you have additional questions, feel free to email us at

The webinar will be recorded and available to all registrants.

Learn More About the Panelists

Emily Allen, PhD

Assistant Professor at Emory University
Dr. Emily Allen has worked on studies of fragile X-associated disorders at Emory University with Dr. Stephanie Sherman since the early 2000s. Her primary research focus has been on disorders and characteristics associated with premutation carriers, such as fragile-X associated primary ovarian insufficiency (FXPOI) and fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS). Her research interests focus on two major areas: understanding the phenotypic consequence of carrying the premutation form of the FMR1 gene and understanding the risk factors leading to nondisjunction in Down syndrome cases.

Craig Erickson, MD

Professor at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Dr. Craig A. Erickson is a Professor of Psychiatry at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine-Affiliated. Dr. Erickson leads a neurodevelopmental clinical and research group focused on improving clinical care through research discovery. He is the Director of the Cincinnati Fragile X Research and Treatment Center which is one of the largest such programs in the world. He serves as the Chair of the Clinical Trials Committee organized by the National Fragile X Foundation and is a leader in translational medicine efforts in fragile X syndrome, autism, and related disorders. Additionally, he is the director of research in the Division of Psychiatry at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Peng Jin, PhD

Professor and Chair at Emory University School of Medicine
Dr. Peng Jin is interested in the roles of noncoding RNAs and epigenetic modulation in neural development and brain disorders. Dr. Jin leads Emory’s NIH-funded Fragile X Center of Excellence. Along with several esteemed colleagues, Dr. Jin published on their Fragile X syndrome forebrain organoids (see A Human Forebrain Organoid Model) created by patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). This forebrain organoid model matches molecular and pharmacological aspects of Fragile X syndrome more closely than mouse versions. Because the Fragile X syndrome brain organoid seems to be sensitive and better mimics a human with Fragile X syndrome, this model could better find and evaluate new treatments.

Tracy King, MD, M.P.H

Medical Officer at Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institute of Health (NIH).
Dr. Tracy King is a board-certified pediatrician with extensive research, clinical, and teaching experience in providing pediatric care for diverse populations and currently oversees the NICHD portfolio of research on Fragile X Syndrome and chairs the Trans-NIH Fragile X/FMR1 working group. She also has a specific interest in research methods relevant to clinical preventive services for children. and serves as NICHD’s liaison to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

David Nelson, PhD

Professor at Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. David Nelson is a professor of molecular and human genetics and the director of both the graduate program in cancer & cell biology and integrative molecular and biomedical sciences at Baylor College of Medicine. He is also a director of Baylor’s Michigan Emory Fragile X Research Center, an NIH-funded center aimed at understanding mechanisms whereby premutation-length CGG repeats cause neurodegenerative and ovarian disorders. The Nelson lab has been involved in research into the causes of and therapies for Fragile X syndrome since the late 1980s, contributing to the discovery of the repeat expansion mutation that results in the disorder and the gene that is affected. For over 30 years, the Nelson lab has worked to define both the characteristics of the unusual repeat expansion in the disease and the functions of FMR1, the gene that is downregulated in the disease. 

Peter Todd, MD, PhD

Professor at the University of Michigan Medical School
Dr. Peter Todd is the Bucky and Patti Harris Professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Michigan Medical School. As a clinician, Dr. Todd co-directs Michigan University's Multidisciplinary Ataxia Clinic where he sees patients with FXTAS (Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome), and the Fragile X Syndrome Clinic  where he sees adult patients with Fragile X syndrome. He also serves as director of the Clinical Neurogenetics Research Program, which aims to improve research and care for patients with inherited neurological disorders.

As a physician-scientist, the Peter Todd Lab studies the mechanisms by which nucleotide repeat expansions cause neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders with a long-term goal of developing novel therapeutics for currently untreatable conditions. His lab has published extensively on Fragile X-associated disorders, such as Fragile X syndrome and FXTAS, as well as C9orf72 repeat expansions that cause ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease) and frontotemporal dementia.

In the past decade, Dr. Todd has given over 80 invited presentations across the world and published over 50 papers on his research.