Clarkson University Grad Student Wins Award for Autism Study

Clarkson University News

Clarkson University graduate student Armand Gatien Ngounou Wetie has won an Eastern Analytical Symposium Graduate Student Research Award for his study of autism spectrum disorders.

A Ph.D. student from Cameroon working with Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biomolecular Science Costel C. Darie and Research Assistant Professor Alisa G. Woods, he is invited to present his research at the symposium and exhibition that takes place from Nov. 17 to 19 at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset, N.J.

Ngounou’s research involves analyzing the protein profiles of saliva samples to identify biomarkers in children with ASD compared to children without ASD. He said he wants to continue his work using samples from a larger population to confirm his findings.

“We have found some interesting proteins that are different from children with autism compared with controls, and I think the next stage would be to increase the pool of samples to confirm those findings,” he said.

Ngounou said biomarkers can be used to screen children for ASD before onset of symptoms. Children who are diagnosed earlier have better treatment outcome, he explained.

“So far the children are diagnosed with behavioral tests, which are prone to false positive or false negative tests, so our goal is to come up with a biomarker that can help physicians detect autism before onset of symptoms develop,” he said.

Ngounou said he looks forward to presenting his research and meeting with other students, scientists and employers.  Continue reading

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