Navigation Links
Autism Speaks awards nearly $2.9 million to fund autism research
Date:6/21/2012

New York, N.Y. (June 21, 2012) Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, today announced the award of new research grants totaling nearly $2.9 million in funding to support autism research. "Suzanne and I are extraordinarily proud of Autism Speaks, not only for funding research projects which have tremendous potential to open new avenues to understanding autism," said Autism Speaks Co-founder Bob Wright, "but in supporting predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows who are the next generation of leaders in autism research."

The projects approved include a Suzanne and Bob Wright Trailblazer Award, ten Weatherstone Predoctoral Fellowships and nine Postdoctoral Fellowships in Translational Research. In addition, five targeted research studies which support research across a range of high-priority areas were funded. These include environmental risk factors, understanding the impact of DSM-5 on autism diagnosis, the development of medicines, new behavioral treatments across the lifespan, improved access to early intervention in minority communities and a deeper understanding of autism biology.

"We are extremely gratified by the high quality of these research projects. These projects focus on issues that directly affect the lives of individuals with autism, such as the development of new treatments, the impact of the new diagnostic criteria for autism, and understanding the causes of autism," says Autism Speaks Chief Science Officer Geri Dawson, Ph.D. "and the fellowships are so important for bringing new talent into the field."

The new Trailblazer project was awarded to Raymond Palmer, Ph.D., an expert in preventive medicine and epidemiology at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center to investigate the use of baby teeth to track exposure to chemicals during the prenatal and postnatal period that may affect autism risk. "The lack of methods to determine environmental exposures during critical periods of early development has long challenged research into environmental risk factors for autism," Dr. Dawson says of the study's importance. Dr. Palmer pioneered the use of lost baby teeth to detect prenatal and early childhood exposure pesticides, drugs and other environmental chemicals in typically developing children. After further validating the method, the goal will be to compare baby teeth from children with autism to those from a control group unaffected by the disorder.

Targeted research projects, reviewed by outside experts and the Autism Speaks Scientific Review Panel address timely autism research studies.

David Mandell, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania, will develop and evaluate the effects of a population-based program to improve early diagnosis and referral for autism services in an underserved minority community.

Two projects will use animal models that promise to advance the development of autism medicines. Joseph Buxbaum, Ph.D., of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, will use rat models to identify brain pathways common to several forms of autism. Richard Paylor, Ph.D., of Baylor College of Medicine, will complete his classification of autism-like behaviors in genetically engineered rat models of autism.

At the University of South Carolina, Laura Carpenter, Ph.D. will conduct a study that promises to provide clearer information on the effect of proposed changes to the definition of ASD in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5). She will also assess how these changes will affect the estimated prevalence of autism using two different population-screening methods.

Autism Speaks Weatherstone Predoctoral Fellowships launch promising young scientists into careers in autism by supporting cutting-edge research under the mentorship of leading researchers. This year's awards include Tychele Turner at Johns Hopkins University who will use a molecular approach to explore the possible role of the X chromosome in reducing autism risk in girls and women. Christopher Muller from Vanderbilt University will study elevated serotonin levels and their relationship to sensory problems in autism.

At the University of California, Davis, Myka Estes will study how immune system abnormalities may affect early brain development in children with autism. Laura Edwards (Harvard University) will use a novel, non-invasive brain imaging technique to study the brain systems associated with impaired social behavior in children with autism and their unaffected siblings, and Katherine Stavropoulos at the University of California, San Diego will study neural responses to social signals. Michael Grubb (New York University) and Aarti Nair (University of California, San Diego) will use functional MRI to better understand brain dysfunction in individuals with autism, respectively focusing on impairments in visual attention and brain connectivity.

Autism Speaks Postdoctoral Fellowships in Translational Research help turn scientific discoveries into treatments that improve lives. New 2012 fellowships include Soumya Pati at Baylor College of Medicine who will use advanced testing techniques to identify subgroups of individuals who may respond to specific medical treatments. The techniques include RNA sequencing of blood and analysis of nerve cells grown from skin stem cells. These will be compared to information from brain scans. At the University of North Carolina, Brian Teng will study the effects of oxytocin receptor agonist drugs in mouse models of ASD. Dean Carson (Stanford University) will conduct a randomized controlled trial of oxytocin treatment for social deficits in children. This study will also assess a biomarker that may help identify children who will benefit from this treatment.

Adam Eggebrecht at Washington University will use another novel brain imaging method to map brain networks associated with autism. Oana Tudusciuc from the California Institute of Technology will study epilepsy patients, with or without autism, who have implanted electrodes that track seizures. This research promises to reveal how individual brain cells function differently in persons with autism.

At Stanford University, Garrett Anderson will study the role of the CNTNAP2 gene in brain cell development and transmission.

Ryan Yuen (Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto) will study the role of the Y chromosome in autism as part of Dr. Scherer's research project. Mary Beth Nebel at Kennedy Krieger Institute will use new robotic techniques to help children with autism learn to imitate. This study also promises to advance understanding of brain differences associated with impaired imitation in autism. Elena Tenenbaum (Women and Infants Hospital and Brown University) will explore whether certain attention-directing techniques can enhance language learning in children with autism.

All research funded is made possible by the generosity and passion of Autism Speaks' community of families, donors and volunteers.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jane E. Rubinstein
jrubinstein@rubenstein.com
212-843-8287
Autism Speaks
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Holding a mirror to brain changes in autism
2. Autism risk gene linked to differences in brain structure
3. Autism Speaks awards $1.1 million to fund high priority studies
4. Spontaneous gene glitches linked to autism risk with older dads
5. Gene mutation identified as contributor to autism spectrum disorders
6. Researchers across North America team up to find genetic markers for autism
7. New genes contributing to autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders uncovered
8. Research shows how PCBs promote dendrite growth, may increase autism risk
9. Common genetic variants identify autism risk in high risk siblings of children with ASD
10. MindSpec launches online Autism Reading Room
11. New treatment for irritability in autism
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Autism Speaks awards nearly $2.9 million to fund autism research
(Date:3/13/2017)... Germany , March 13, 2017 Future of security: ... ... DERMALOGs Face Matching enables to match face ... forms the basis to identify individuals. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog Identification Systems) ... DERMALOG,s "Face Matching" is the fastest software for biometric ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. , March 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... 23andMe , the leading personal genetics company, are ... can now provide customers with personalized nutrition plans that ... biometrics, but also genetic markers impacting how their body ... personalized food decision support platform uses biometrics such as ...
(Date:3/7/2017)... SALT LAKE CITY , March 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... solutions that help top global companies identify the best ... Leonard as Chief Sales Officer (CSO) and ... and Kucer,s appointments round out a seasoned executive team poised ... year and beyond, building on a year of record ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... Open Therapeutics and ... (IP) sharing and commercialization model. , The Center for Advancing Innovation helps institutions ... this effort is bringing the IP to the attention of the entrepreneurial community ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... For today, Stock-Callers.com redirects investors, attention to Biotechnology, ... research aimed at treating diseases and medical conditions. Under evaluation ... (NASDAQ: KERX), Kite Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: KITE), and ZIOPHARM Oncology ... complimentary research reports on these stocks now at: ... http://stock-callers.com/registration Biostage ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... ... 18, 2017 , ... Alisa Wright, founder and CEO of Singota Solutions ... of Pharmacy in Lafayette, Indiana. , The Distinguished Alumni Award was established in ... and other scientific endeavors. , Wright began her career in the pharmaceutical industry ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... ... April 19, 2017 , ... ThermaGenix, the PCR Improvement ... adds to several other early achievements at ThermaGenix, including the business formation and ... , ThermaGenix will use proceeds from the Series A-1 round to:, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: