Simons Foundation Lectures are free public colloquia related to basic science and mathematics. These high-level talks are intended for professors, students, postdocs and business professionals, but interested people from the metropolitan area are welcome as well.
In this lecture, Gail Mandel will provide a general introduction to Rett syndrome (RTT), a neurodevelopmental disease of girls that results from defects in the gene encoding of the transcription factor methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2). She will provide evidence that the pathology is complex, involving defects in both neurons and astrocytes in conventional RTT mouse models. She will discuss emerging ideas about the normal function of the MeCP2 protein and her recent findings that point to a role for MeCP2 in 3-D chromatin architecture. Finally, she will discuss whether Rett syndrome could be amenable to gene replacement strategies.