In 2011, the University of Virginia’s Dr. Jeffrey Elias was among the first in the world to use focused ultrasound technology to treat patients with essential tremor, a condition akin to Parkinson’s disease that affects up to 10 million Americans.
Laurie Brenner, an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at the UVA School of Medicine. Mentored by Kevin Pelphrey, Jaideep Kapur and Karen Johnston, Brenner will study if “Autism-plus-epilepsy is an autism subtype with a focal neurobiological basis.”
As one of the country’s leading autism researchers, Pelphrey was eager to work within the UVA Brain Institute, where he could continue helping people like his 16-year-old daughter, Frances, who was diagnosed with autism in 2007.
Richard J. Price, PhD, of UVA’s School of Medicine and School of Engineering, is using focused soundwaves to overcome the natural “blood-brain barrier,” which protects the brain from harmful pathogens.
In August, Kevin Pelphrey’s team at the University of Virginia launched a long-term study of differences between boys and girls with autism, involving 1,500 children at seven research sites. They were preparing to begin a second wave of data collection when the pandemic hit.