Steven G. Kaminsky Scout Program

In 2013, launched the Scout Program, under the direction of Chief Science Officer, Steven G. Kaminsky, PhD, to use the RTT mouse model to screen discovery drugs. Dedicated to accelerating research, the Scout Program allows us to test new or repurposed compounds through standardized preclinical studies.

In 2019, the Scout Program was renamed to honor Chief Science Officer, Steven G. Kaminsky, PhD in his pursuit of a treatment and a cure for Rett syndrome.

This program is in response to a 2011 workshop focused on the state of the art in animal studies of Rett syndrome that was convened by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and Rett Syndrome Research Trust. The participants recommended important guidelines that the community of Rett researchers can implement to ensure more standardized study design and transparent reporting


The Steven G. Kaminsky Scout program exists to address the need of partnering with the pharmaceutical industry for the development of drugs to change Rett biology. It provides a rigorous platform for the drug companies to use for either new or repurposed compounds they believe might be useful in treating Rett syndrome. This aspect of the Steven G. Kaminsky Scout Program provides an incentive to the drug company to make Rett syndrome a priority in their clinical research portfolio because provides the testing environment through our established partnership with a Contract Research Organization (CRO).

Give to the Steven G. Kaminsky Scout Program Fund and 100% of your donation will go to accelerate research.


An additional purpose of the Steven G. Kaminsky Scout Program is to serve the many individuals performing preclinical research in academics laboratories and to move more outstanding basic research to clinical trials. It is critical to reproduce their efforts to aid in required regulatory review when they decide to move their compounds forward to human clinical trials. Our strategy with this program is to independently test selected drugs using the guidelines set by the NINDS/NICHD workshop to provide the complementary high quality data required to move promising compounds along the drug development pipeline toward the clinic. Working together with academic labs, the Steven G. Kaminsky Scout Program ensures rigorous and high-quality preclinical trial designs are employed to generate the reliable preclinical data required to shorten the time to effective treatments.

CONTRACTED RESEARCH ORGANIZATION has executed a contract with the CRO PsychoGenics, Inc. in Tarrytown, NY. Dr. Taleen Hanania, Senior Vice President of Behavioral Pharmacology will be leading the testing team. As a contract research organization and drug discovery company, it offers a wide range of preclinical services and has developed partnerships with both disease-oriented nonprofit organizations as well as other corporate institutions.

An initial Scout Advisory Committee was created to develop and prioritize the biological pathways to target and the compounds to be tested in the Scout Program. This following and others have helped build the Scout Program:

Dr. John McCall, PharMac, LLC
Dr. Garry Smith, Fox Chase Chemical Diversity Center, Inc.
Dr. Stephen Ginsberg, Nathan Kline Institute, New York University
Dr. Aleksandra Djukic, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Dr. Raj Ratan, Burke Medical Research Institute, Cornell University
Dr. Marcie Glicksman, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard University
Dr. Dani Brunner, EarlySignals


At the 2015 Society for Neuroscience Annual meeting, the PsychoGenics team presented the poster “Assessing the Mecp2 (Bird) Model of Rett Syndrome Across Species, Sex, and Age”, which describes the battery of tests performed in the Scout Program. Click the image above to read more from the poster.

Scout Program Press Releases

June 13, 2018 -  AMO Pharma Receives FDA Orphan Drug Designation for AMO-04 in Treatment of Rett Syndrome

December 6, 2016 - Revive Therapeutics Ltd. Announces Positive Study Results in Rett Syndrome

May 20, 2016 – Anavex Announces US FDA Orphan Drug Designation to Anavex 2-73 for the Treatment of Rett Syndrome

February 25, 2016 - Positive Rett Syndrome Data from Anavex Life Science Corps
April 28, 2015 -  Revive Therapeutics Announces Positive Study Results


October 14, 2016 - A CASE STUDY OF RETTSYNDROME.ORG’S SCOUT PROGRAM HeART Awardee Bianca DeFillippis, PhD
Modulation of Rho GTPases rescues brain mitochondrial dysfunction, cognitive deficits and aberrant synaptic plasticity in female mice modeling Rett syndrome
De Filippis B, Valenti D, Chiodi V, Ferrante A, de Bari L, Fiorentini C, Domenici MR, Ricceri L, Vacca RA, Fabbri A, Laviola G.
Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2015 Jun;25