Chang Lab

Qiang Chang, PhD

Qiang Chang, PhD studies Rett syndrome, a developmental disorder caused by mutations that deform an essential protein called MeCP2.

Rett syndrome is a rare postnatal neurological disorder, first recognized in infancy, which occurs more frequently in girls than boys. Rett syndrome causes problems in the parts of the brain that control learning, speech, movement, cardiac and pulmonary function, as well as chewing, swallowing, and digestion. Rett syndrome strikes all racial and ethnic groups, and has an estimated prevalence of one in 10,000-15,000 girls. It the second most common cause of intellectual disability in females.

Rett syndrome is caused by mutations on the X chromosome in a gene called MeCP2. MeCP2 plays a central role in interpreting the changes in the genetic code of DNA methylation and regulating chromatin remodeling and gene transcription. There are more than 200 different mutations found in the MeCP2 gene.