Zylka lab postdoc Ian King receives Angelman Syndrome Foundation fellowship

Dr. Ian King is the first recipient of the Dr. Joseph E. Wagstaff Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, a prestigious two-year fellowship award given for studies in preclinical, translational and clinical research areas that investigate all aspects of Angelman syndrome.

Zylka lab postdoc Ian King receives Angelman Syndrome Foundation fellowship
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Ian King, at right, with Mark Zylka

June 1, 2011 -

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From the ASF News and Announcements release:

The Angelman Syndrome Foundation's dedication to research is again today front and center for the Foundation with today's announcement of the first Joseph E. Wagstaff Postdoctoral Fellowship. Dr. Ian King, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, is the first recipient of this prestigious two-year fellowship award.

"It is a tremendous honor to be the first recipient of the Wagstaff postdoctoral fellowship and I am extremely grateful to the ASF for this award - it will be a huge boost to our research toward a potential new pharmaceutical treatment for the root cause of AS. Research funds are always scarce, and this generous award puts my work on solid footing for an extended time. It's really exciting to be involved with a project that has the potential to pioneer a new approach to treating AS, and I'm really pleased that the ASF finds the work we're doing as exciting and promising as we do," said Dr. Ian King, 2011 Wagstaff Fellowship recipient.

About the award

This is an award funded by the Angelman Syndrome Foundation (ASF). The Dr. Joseph E. Wagstaff Postdoctoral Fellowship Award is a two-year fellowship awarded for studies in preclinical, translational and clinical research areas that investigate all aspects of Angelman syndrome. The purpose of this award is to:

• Promote Angelman syndrome-related research in a young investigator

• Support novel or innovative research initiatives

• Further support and encourage existing Angelman-related research projects

All post-doctoral research applications considered for funding by the ASF are reviewed by the ASF Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). This committee is comprised of researchers, physicians and other professionals from both academia and industry who have expert knowledge of Angelman syndrome. Funding is $55,000 for each of the two years, for a total funding amount of $110,000.

"Awarding this first fellowship is an important milestone in ASF's research funding because the Wagstaff award enables young, talented investigators to work more closely within the sphere of the Angelman community. The Wagstaff award now expands ASF's research funding to include young as well as established researchers, and new treatment successes for those with Angelman syndrome depends on the work of these committed scientists," said Dr. Charles Williams, ASF SAC Chair.

Dr. King's fellowship work at UNC-Chapel Hill will be overseen by his mentor, Dr. Mark Zylka, Assistant Professor, Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology. "Through almost daily conversations with Dr. Ben Philpot, a current ASF grant award recipient, I learned about Angelman syndrome and the acute need for treatments for this lifelong genetic disorder. These informal discussions lead to a highly productive scientific collaboration with Dr. Philpot and Dr. Bryan Roth (who is also at UNC). Our collaborative work at UNC has blossomed with the discovery of a small molecule (UNCilencer1) that epigenetically regulates expression of Ube3a in cultured cells and in animals. I feel deeply honored to have the spotlight of the ASF shine on our lab with the awarding of the first Wagstaff Postdoctoral Fellowship to Dr. Ian King. With this fellowship support, Ian can continue and accelerate his groundbreaking research on a new small molecule that potently regulates expression of Ube3a in neurons."

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