1965: Discovery of AS

January 1, 1965

Dr. Harry Angelman

Dr. Harry Angelman, an English physician at Warrington General Hospital, published a research paper that first described children with characteristics of Angelman syndrome.

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1982: AS Diagnoses

July 2, 1982

Dr. Charles Williams and Dr. Jaime Frias of the University of Florida College of Medicine saw their first patients whom they believed had “Happy Puppet Syndrome” (now known as Angelman syndrome) based on Dr. Angelman’s past observations.

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1987: Genetic Marker Identified

January 2, 1987


Ellen Magenis, physician at the Oregon Health Science Center, discovered a genetic “marker” for AS – a missing genetic code on a tiny portion of chromosome 15.

Chromosome 15 Deletion

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1991: First Major Gift

January 2, 1991


Former Major League Baseball pitcher, Bryan Harvey, donated $20,000 to the ASF for AS research and family support.

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1991: AS Families Gather

June 2, 1991


A group of families in California come together to host the first-ever Conference all about AS for their fellow families and friends at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA.

Angelman Family gathering



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1992: ASF Incorporated

January 6, 1992

The ASF was officially incorporated. This marks the start of our commitment to research to discover AS treatments and a cure, while supporting those impacted by Angelman syndrome.

Angelman Syndrome Foundation 30 year anniversary. Celebrating 30 years of service to the community.

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1993: First ASF Conference

August 5, 1993


The ASF hosts its first official Family Conference as an incorporated organization, with hundreds of families attending.

The Bradleys and the Angelmans at the
1993 ASF Conference in Orlando, FL. 

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1996: Facts About AS

February 26, 1996


“Facts About AS” was published: the first-ever comprehensive resource for families for everything known about AS at that time in history.

Facts about Angelman Syndrome
Download now.


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1996: First Clinical Trial

May 1, 1996


The ASF formed its Scientific Advisory Committee, awarding ASF’s first-ever research grant to Dr. Joseph E. Wagstaff to investigate disturbed sleep patterns. This was the first clinical trial in Angelman syndrome research, using melatonin for sleep disturbances.

 Dr. Joseph Wagstaff
Dr. Joseph Wagstaff

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1997: Mutations Discovered

February 5, 1997


Dr. Arthur Beaudet discovered mutations in the UBE3A gene as the cause of AS.

This discovery quickly led to the development of animal models and active neuroscience research aimed at discovering how abnormalities of UBE3A cause impairment in neural development. 

UBE3A mutation


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1997: First Scientific Symposium

July 22, 1997


The ASF holds the first Scientific Symposium in conjunction with the 1997 Family Conference in Seattle, Washington. 

This two-day symposium is a chance for leading researchers, scientists and doctors to discuss the latest research activities in the world of AS.

In 2008, the Scientific Symposium became an annual event. 

Angelman Syndrome Foundation Board in 1997

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1999: Inaugural Walk

May 22, 1999


The ASF hosts its inaugural ASF Walk, where more than 200 people walked five miles in Naperville, IL. and raised nearly $25,000.

The Walk now has more than 10,000 annual participants at 50+ sites across the US.

Photo from the 1999 ASF Walk
photo from the 1999 event



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1999: Harry & Audrey Angelman Award

October 2, 1999


The first Harry and Audrey Angelman Award for Outreach and Education was announced by the ASF, honoring the Angelmans for their immense contributions to our community.

Harry and Audrey Angelman


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2000: Website Launch

June 1, 2000


Online resources & education

The ASF launched www.Angelman.org, the first-ever website dedicated completely to AS.

The site provides families with AS education and personal resources, ASF-funded research updates and accomplishments, community and national fundraising events, and more!


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2000: Claudia Benton Research Award

August 1, 2000


The Claudia Benton Award for Research was announced by the ASF to honor of Claudia Benton, who passed away in 1998. The award recognizes those with a strong commitment to advancing the scientific knowledge and understanding of AS or makes a significant impact on the lives of individuals with AS through research. 

Dr. Claudia Benton

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2002: Global Awarness

October 2, 2002


World Congress and Exposition on Disabilities
October 3 – 5, 2002

The ASF exhibited at the World Congress and Exposition on Disabilities, broadening awareness of AS to thousands of attendees.


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2006: IEP Resource

May 22, 2006

IEP Goals

The ASF launched its Individualized Education Program (IEP) Bank, a platform for parents and IEP team members to exchange goals and objectives with each other to assist in planning their student’s IEP.


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2007: $1 Million Milestone

January 1, 2007


The ASF achieved a major milestone in AS research by hitting $1 million invested.  

Since 1996, the ASF had been investing more than $10,000 a year in AS research with that amount increasing each year.  In 2007, the ASF invested $80,000 in AS research putting the cumulative amount the organization had invested in AS research to over $1 million. 

Find out more about ASF Funded research since 1996.


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2008: Wagstaff Fellowship

April 2, 2008


Dr. Joseph E. Wagstaff Postdoctoral Fellowship was established by the ASF in honor of Dr. Wagstaff, who passed away at age 52.

Through this fellowship, the ASF honored Dr. Wagstaff’s legacy by supporting innovative research initiatives and cultivating brilliant, young researchers in the field of AS research.


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2009: $1 Million in Research

March 1, 2009


The ASF funded more than $1 million in research in one year for the first time. More than $1 million in grants were awarded to six principle investigators focusing on AS research.

  • Ben Philpot, PhD – University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
  • John Marshall, PhD – Brown University
  • Eric Klann, PhD – New York University
  • Peter Howley, MD – Harvard Medical School
  • Yong-Jui Jiang, MD, PhD – Duke University
  • Scott Dindot, PhD – Texas A&M University


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2010: Clinical Trials Act

September 9, 2010


Due in part to the ASF’s advocacy, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Improving Clinical Trials Act, which enables individuals with rare diseases to participate in clinical trials while remaining eligible for healthcare benefits.

Before this enactment, people with rare diseases such as AS had to choose between healthcare coverage and clinical trial participation.


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2011: Paternal UBE3A Activated

April 29, 2011


Dr. Ben Philpot proved the paternal copy of Ube3a can be activated, a huge breakthrough in AS research.

As discovered by Dr. Art Beaudet in 1996, AS is caused by a deficiency of UBE3A, so Dr. Philpot’s finding was a very significant and promising step towards better treatments and a cure.

Paternal ube3a

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2012: AS Clinics Established

April 2, 2012


AS Clinics logo

The first two AS clinics opened in 2012. At the clinics, all of the unique needs of individuals with AS can be addressed under one roof, something that the AS community has never had before.


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2012: LGIT Study Published

July 10, 2012

The results of an ASF-funded clinical research study lead by Dr. Ron Thibert at Massachusetts General Hospital were published in Epilepsia on July 10, 2012.  The clinical study concluded that the Low-Glycemic Index Treatment (LGIT) decreased seizures by 80% in Individuals with AS.  

Dr. Ron Thibert

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2013: International Angelman Day

January 15, 2013

International Angelman Day February 15
International Angelman Day was celebrated for the first time to help raise awareness for AS across the world. That year alone, ASF Facebook posts were shared more than 1,000 times, introducing AS to thousands of people for the very first time.


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2013: iPads for AS

September 9, 2013


The iPads for AS initiative enabled the ASF to award 100 iPads to individuals with AS for communication aids.

iPads for AS


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2013: $5 Million Milestone

August 5, 2014


ASF funded research reached $5 million invested.  

In 2013, the ASF committed over $200,000 to fund Angelman Syndrome research putting the cumulative amount invested to over $5 million! 

$5 Million invested in Angelman syndrome research

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2014: AS Resources

September 5, 2014


The Family Resource Team and Educational Webinar Series were launched by the ASF, to provide personal insight and guidance from AS experts and peers on daily challenges that AS families regularly face.

Angelman Syndrome Foundation Resource Team Members



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2014: ASO’s Activate Paternal UBE3A

November 2, 2014


Dr. Arthur Beaudet

Dr. Art Beaudet builds on Dr. Philpot’s paternal Ube3a activation discovery, using antisense oligonucleotides (ASO) to activate paternal Ube3a. This successful research moved us even closer to a therapeutic.


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2015: Communication Training Series

November 17, 2015


The ASF Communication Training Series started, a program designed for families to help their individual with AS reach his or her greatest communication success.

To date, more than 53,110 people have participated in these webinars.

Assistive Communication


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2015: AS Clinic at Mayo Clinic

March 1, 2016


Mayo Clinic invested in AS research by opening its own AS Clinic in Rochester, Minn., on November 30, 2015, marking the third AS Clinic available to families in the U.S.

Stephanie Hays discusses the AS Clinic at Mayo Clinic

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2016: Center for Courageous Kids

May 1, 2016


The ASF organized and fully funded its first Center for Courageous Kids (CCK) outing, a fully-inclusive camping experience for 30 AS families. 
The ASF funded a second outing in April 2017.

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2017: Biomarker Identified for Clinical Trials

May 8, 2017


May 2017

ASF-funded research, published in the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, identified that delta—a frequency of brain rhythms identifiable by EEG scanscan serve as a reliable biomarker for pre-clinical and clinical trials in Angelman syndrome, one of the first biomarkers to be established in AS research. 

Biomarkers play a critical role in determining whether a potential therapeutic is effective, and this study gave the AS research community a viable tool to measure success of many trials!


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2018: $10 Million Milestone

January 16, 2018


ASF funded research poised to reach $10 Million invested.

With so many advances being made in Angelman research by talented, dedicated professionals, the ASF is striving to have $10 million invested in AS research during the year 2018.  



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2019: ASF Family Fund

July 16, 2019


The ASF Family Fund was created.  This allows families to apply for funds to gain access to resources needed to improve the quality of life for an individual with Angelman Syndrome. Applications for funding are open twice a year in October and April.

ASF Family Fund

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2019: 15q Clinical Research Network

October 15, 2019

The Angelman Syndrome Foundation and Dup15q Alliance combined their respective clinical networks to form the The 15Q Clinical Research Network in efforts to help those living with 15q syndromes and make clinics accessible to more people.

15Q Clinical Research Network map



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2019: LADDER

November 25, 2019


Linking Angelman and Dup15q Data for Expanded Research (LADDER)

A collaborative project funded by the ASF and the Dup15q Alliance was announced. RTI International (RTI), a nonprofit research institute created and hosts a network platform, that will offer caregivers access to information about a larger population of patients living with Angelman or Dup15 syndromes to better inform their decisions regarding treatments and interventions. Data analysis and discovery will also help researchers target therapies and advance clinical trials more quickly and efficiently.



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2021: New Resources

August 8, 2021


After the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, resources and information became a big priority for the ASF. Several new resources and programs were developed to help Angelman family members and individuals with AS. 

  • Adult Taskforce – created to help address the needs of those caring for adults with AS
  • Counseling Services – free counseling for family members living in the US
  • Seizure Resources – created by Angelman clinicians to help inform doctors about best practices of treating seizures in AS
  • Sibling Resources – groups especially for siblings to connect and have a voice in caring for their sibling with AS
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