Williams syndrome is gaining wider popularity in the research field due to its unique characteristics and to the wealth of information, it is providing to the Human Genome Project.
It is impossible to provide a comprehensive list of active research projects. However, a list of many studies is available through the WS Registry. There are also several research centers around the United States and throughout the world specializing in research in the characteristics of Williams syndrome.
For more information contact the WSA national office or the WS Registry with inquiries on specific research topics that may not be listed here.
Carolyn Mervis, PhD, University of Louisville conducts clinical research studies at the primarily devoted to the cognitive processes in WS. Her team is conducting longitudinal studies of Language and Cognition in WS, as well as studies of language in very young children and the relationships between language, cognition and adaptive behavior in Williams syndrome.
“Williams Syndrome Research Acceleration Study”, Boston Children's Hospital is led by members of the Department of Cardiology, & Division of Genetics at BCH and the Departments of Pediatrics and Genetics at Harvard Medical School, BCH is conducting a multi‐disciplinary study involving four complimentary projects, with an aim towards better understanding the cardiovascular pathophysiology of patients with Williams syndrome, and improving the overall health and well‐being of patients with Williams syndrome.– “Williams Syndrome Research Acceleration Study” (3‐year study). Led by members of the Department of Cardiology, & Division of Genetics at BCH and the Departments of Pediatrics and Genetics at Harvard Medical School, this is a multi‐disciplinary study involving four complimentary projects, with an aim towards better understanding the cardiovascular pathophysiology of patients with Williams syndrome, and improving the overall health and well‐being of patients with Williams syndrome.
Marisa H. Fisher, PhD, BCBA-D, MI State University conducts studies on characteristics of internet use of individuals with Williams syndrome.
Marilee Martens, PhD, Nationwide Children's Hospital, conducts research which is focused on musicality and anxiety management in individuals with Williams syndrome.
Daniel Dilks, PhD, Emory University conducts research to learn how adults with Williams syndrome understand their physical environment (i.e., recognize and navigate places), and their social environment (e.g., whether another person might be considered a friend or foe).
Eric Joyce, PhD, PENN School of Medicine is conducting research which is focused on new techniques for diagnosing WS via specialized FISH probes.
Barbara Landau, PhD, Johns Hopkins University conducts studies which delve into the cognitive processes of adults with WS. Present studies focus on spatial language, and object/motion perception.
Elisabeth Dykens, PhD, Vanderbilt University conducts studies into anxiety in teens and adults with Williams syndrome and is currently looking at Behavioral concerns and the use of music to see how they might interact.
Julie R. Korenberg, PhD, University of Utah conducts research into understanding the genetic underpinnings of Williams syndrome, and advancing development of better treatments.
Lucy Osborne, PhD, University of Toronto studies the human chromosome 7 locus, 7q11.23. Deletion and duplication of 7q11.23 both cause neurodevelopmental disorders with unique cognitive and behavioral profiles, which offer a window into the genetics of human behavior.
The Chromosome 7 Project is part of the Human Genome project and is currently underway at The Centre for Applied Genomics at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. More information can be found at the Chromosome 7 Project