Jason Stephenson, PhD

I am interested in understanding how Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) regulates synaptic transmission at excitatory synapses, particularly with regards to the role of this dynamic protein in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). I am investigating a novel mutation in CaMKII found in a patient with ASD and aim to elucidate how this mutation disrupts the normal regulation of excitatory synapses, which ultimately leads to behavioral deficits associated with ASD. These studies are significant because they provide novel mechanistic insights into the detrimental effects of this CaMKII mutation and will significantly advance our understanding of the role of ASD-associated mutations in the protein network involved in synaptic development and function.