Rett Syndrome Clinical Research Center of Excellence designated

rett syndrome family

Vanderbilt’s Rett Syndrome Clinic has been named a Rett Syndrome Clinical Research Center of Excellence by

Led by Sar Peters, Ph.D., and Cary Fu, M.D., Vanderbilt’s clinic is one of only 14 sites nationwide to receive this designation.

The award acknowledges that these clinics not only provide treatment for patients but work collaboratively to provide support for families, as well as with specialists in a range of studies, including developmental and behavioral pediatrics, neurology, sleep disorders, gastroenterology and more.

Gordon Rich, Chief Operating Officer for, officially recognized Vanderbilt’s Rett syndrome researchers with this designation at an event on Nov. 11 at the University Club of Nashville.

Award presentation Chief Operating Officer Gordon Rich (right) with Vanderbilt Rett Syndrome researchers Colleen Niswender, Ph.D., research associate professor of Pharmacology, Director of Molecular Pharmacology at the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery and Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Investigator; Cary Fu, M.D., assistant professor of Pediatrics; and Sar Peters, Ph.D., assistant professor of Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Investigator

“We are so grateful for this designation, and what it means for the present and future of our Rett syndrome program here at Vanderbilt University Medical Center,” said Rett syndrome researcher Sarika Peters, Ph.D., assistant professor of Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Vanderbilt Kennedy Center investigator. “We have assembled a fantastic, interdisciplinary team who are poised to engage in translational science, and can continue to advance treatments and push the development of more clinical trials for Rett syndrome and related disorders. This designation also sends a message to families that they have a place close to home where they can seek out expert care and cutting-edge research done by professionals with first-hand knowledge of Rett syndrome and Rett-related disorders.”

The Rett Clinic at Vanderbilt is supported by the School of Medicine and the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development.

Rett syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects girls almost exclusively and is characterized by normal early growth and development followed by a slowing of development, loss of use of the hands, slowed brain and head growth, problems with walking, seizures and intellectual disability. Rett syndrome strikes all racial and ethnic groups, and occurs worldwide in 1 of every 10,000 female births. Although Rett syndrome can affect males, the incidence in males is not known. is the most comprehensive nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating research of treatments and a cure for Rett syndrome.

Jennifer Wetzel is local news director, News and Public Affairs, Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Photo note for featured image: McKenzie, who loves dancing, is cheered on by her mom, Tamara Tuckson, and dad, Gyasi Wynn. The family were guests at the designation event.


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