Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN UCEDD, IDDRC, LEND) Rett Syndrome Clinic has been Named a Rett Syndrome Clinical Research Center of Excellence

December 12, 2016

Led by Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Investigator Sarika Peters, Ph.D., and Cary Fu, M.D., Vanderbilt's clinic is one of only 14 sites nationwide to receive this designation.

The award acknowledges that these clinics not only provide treatment for patients but work collaboratively to provide support for families, as well as with specialists in a range of studies, including developmental and behavioral pediatrics, neurology, sleep disorders, gastroenterology and more.

Rett Syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects girls almost exclusively and is characterized by normal early growth and development followed by a slowing of development, loss of use of the hands, slowed brain and head growth, problems with walking, seizures and intellectual disability. Rett syndrome strikes all racial and ethnic groups, and occurs worldwide in one of every 10,000 female births. Although Rett syndrome can affect males, the incidence in males is not known.

Gordon Rich, chief operating officer for, officially recognized Vanderbilt's Rett Syndrome researchers with this designation at an event on Nov. 11 at the University Club of Nashville.

"We are so grateful for this designation and what it means for the present and future of our Rett syndrome program here at VUMC," said Peters, assistant professor of Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Vanderbilt Kennedy Center investigator.

"We have assembled a fantastic, interdisciplinary team that is poised to engage in translational science and can continue to advance treatments and push the development of more clinical trials for Rett Syndrome and related disorders. This designation also sends a message to families that they have a place close to home where they can seek out expert care and cutting edge research done by professionals with firsthand knowledge of Rett Syndrome and Rett-related disorders."

The Rett Clinic at Vanderbilt is supported by the School of Medicine and the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development. is the most comprehensive nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating research of treatments and a cure for Rett syndrome.