Kasee Stratton

Kasee Stratton
Photo by Megan Bean

Soon concluding her second year as faculty at Mississippi State, Kasee Stratton is one of only two psychology researchers in the world studying CHARGE syndrome.

A rare genetic condition (1 in 10,000 births) that can result in multiple congenital anomalies, the syndrome currently is the leading cause of deafness and blindness in children.

Stratton established the Bulldog CHARGE Syndrome Research Laboratory to help improve the lives of children living with the syndrome. The lab is part of the College of Education and one of only two labs in the world. Additionally, she serves as co-director of the university’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic.

In addition to campus duties, the Pittsford, Michigan, native is among five members recently appointed by Gov. Phil Bryant to the new Mississippi Autism Board. She also serves as board secretary.

The board was created by the Mississippi Legislature to issue and regulate state licensing for professionals in applied behavior analysis—or ABA—a therapy that has been proven to reduce challenging behaviors and increase skill development for symptoms associated with the disorder.

Stratton holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Central Michigan University. She also completed a pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.

“I’ve always known I wanted a career that would ultimately help people and was torn between becoming a medical doctor and licensed psychologist,” she said. “Once I realized psychology gave me a greater chance to help children with unique presentations, I knew it was the right choice for me.”

Stratton said she was attracted to MSU because “I could come and start something that would probably otherwise never be established here.”

Her research is supported by the CHARGE Syndrome Foundation and she recently received an award from the non-profit organization for “significant contributions to those with CHARGE and their families.” For more on the foundation, visit www.chargesyndrome.org.  

“When I created the lab, I wanted it to be an awareness campaign based out of research,” Stratton said, explaining that “there’s limited research on the day-to-day of how to improve a child’s life with this condition.”

She expressed appreciation to MSU for being “very welcoming in allowing me to do so many things that I love.”