New York, N.Y. (January 7, 2013) Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, today announced the award of $4.8 million in funding for 14 new research projects. To date, Autism Speaks has committed more than $195 million for research projects that advance understanding of the causes, prevention treatment and cure of autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
"Autism Speaks continues in its steadfast support of innovative research which has tremendous potential to increase our understanding of autism," said Autism Speaks Co-founder Bob Wright, "and in the continuing absence of a national plan to address the needs of those who struggle with autism, these research efforts made possible by our donors are all the more crucial."
Funded projects, selected from 136 proposals, will study gene-environment interaction, association of prenatal exposures and autism risk, brain function, and the role that disturbed intestinal bacteria and viruses may play in autism and associated gastrointestinal (GI) problems. Technology is a focus in this round of funding with research to develop a simple video-based method that parents can use to assess ASD risk in infants and toddlers, and innovative small business grants to develop and test a web-based education tool to help students with autism succeed in college and an internet-based "telehealth" system to improve medication management for individuals with autism.
"With this latest round of grants, Autism Speaks is funding a wide scope of studies ranging from basic research to innovative technologies to understanding autism across the lifespan," says Autism Speaks Chief Science Officer Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D. "We are proud to work with the scientists who are our partners in this work."
A new approach to funding research involves innovative small business grants, both focused on technology applications. Melissa DeRosier, Ph.D., of the 3-C Institute for Social Development
|Contact: Jane E. Rubinstein|