Dr. Lucia Peixoto received her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the Universidad de la Republica in her native Uruguay in 2002 and earned her Ph.D. in 2009 at The University of Pennsylvania under the mentorship of Dr. David S. Roos. She completed her postdoctoral training with Dr. Ted Abel at The University of Pennsylvania in 2015. During her fellowship she was also a trainee at the Training Program in Neurodevelopmental disabilities at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (https://neurotraining.research.chop.edu ) with support from NINDS/NIH. As a trainee at CHOP she completed a clinical internship at the Center for Autism Research under the supervision of Dr. Robert Schultz. She became an Assistant Professor at Washington State University in 2015 and has since been recognized with a K01 Career Development award from NINDS/NIH.
Autism Spectrum Disorders
The goal of the research in the Peixoto lab is to understand the interaction between genes and experience in determining severity within Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The lab uses both genomic and candidate gene approaches to study ASD. We focus on factors that affect to the greatest extent the severity of ASD symptoms and the quality of life of affected individuals and their families, such as Intellectual Disability and sleep disturbances. Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying sleep and cognitive impairments in ASD will provide novel insights on the two factors that have the greatest impact on ASD severity. In the long-term our studies will pave the way for new therapies and treatments targeted to improve quality of life for those at the more severe end of the Autism Spectrum, who currently have the poorest prognosis and the highest lifetime cost of treatment
Reproducible Genomic Research
A parallel interest of the lab is to develop bioinformatics approaches to analyze genomic data that produce accurate and reproducible results. Applying such methodologies, we have been able to shed new light on genome-wide transcriptional changes that are linked to learning and memory and sleep homeostasis, as well as epigenomic regulation in response to learning.
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently….because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
– Steve Jobs