On Friday, the lab was informed that we were awarded an R01 grant to study the genetics of Williams Syndrome! Graduate student Nathan Kopp has been modeling this disorder in mice, namely by studying cis and trans effects of the transcription factor Gtf2i, which falls within the chromosomal region lost in Williams Syndrome (WS). Gtf2i has been implicated in the socially disinhibited nature of WS patients–a disease sign which is especially interesting in contrast to the social inhibition of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) patients. As our lab has been studying ASDs for some time, we are excited to start comparing directly the cellular and systems aspects of social behavior by looking at the hypersocial (WS) and hyposocial (ASD) extremes.