Clara Lajonchere, Ph.D., who has been the director of Cure Autism Now's Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE) for the past three years, has been promoted to the new position of Director of Clinical Research. In her new position, Dr. Lajonchere will continue as the Director of AGRE and will lead Cure Autism Now's treatment initiatives and programs, the Autism Treatment Network (ATN) and recently-launched Clinical Trials Network (CTN).
Dr. Lajonchere joined Cure Autism Now as AGRE Program Director in July 2003. She led AGRE to become the most valued and highly-recognized resource in the autism research community. AGRE's accomplishments under her leadership include: increased family recruitment with numbers exceeding 1,400 families; availability of more than 830 well-characterized families available for researchers; use of the AGRE collection by 160 approved researchers from 13 countries worldwide; publication of more than 80 studies using AGRE in leading scientific journals; international initiatives with groups in France, Spain, Mexico and Venezuela; and numerous collaborations with institutions such as Stanford University, Washington University in St. Louis, Translational Genomics (T-Gen) and Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC).
In addition to AGRE's many statistical accomplishments, Dr. Lajonchere has taken pride in building a talented, collaborative and dedicated team, enabling AGRE to make incredible strides over the past few years. In June of this year, Dr. Lajonchere was recognized for her academic accomplishments and received a faculty appointment in Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. She was also involved in preparing applications for several federal grants this year.
Cure Autism Now's clinical research programs will integrate scientific research with clinical applications, and accelerate effective biomedical treatments for autism. As Director of Clinical Research, Dr. Lajonchere's unique experience and record of achievement will ensure success. We thank Clara for her commitment to creating a better quality of life for those affected by autism and congratulate her on this well-deserved promotion.