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UCI research turns the corner on autism
Date:1/15/2013

Irvine, Calif. With $14 million from the William & Nancy Thompson Family Foundation and the Children & Families Commission of Orange County, UC Irvine is helping lead the charge against a disorder that affects about 1 in 88 children in the U.S. autism.

The funding created the Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders of Southern California, which will provide unparalleled access to assessment, diagnosis, care coordination, family support and education for children, teens and young adults.

Along with facilitating this continuum of care, the generous funding will augment an aggressive UC Irvine research campaign to find new treatments that is affiliated with the new center.

"In addition to all that the Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders of Southern California will offer, we must stand behind world-class research," says William Thompson, chairman of the William & Nancy Thompson Family Foundation. "This is taking place right now at UC Irvine. Real breakthroughs must start with research that is directed toward novel treatment approaches, and the research team at UC Irvine is distinctively set up to do this. These efforts walk hand in hand with our clinical, educational and advocacy efforts."

Under the leadership of Dr. J. Jay Gargus, professor of physiology & biophysics and pediatrics, the Center for Autism Research & Treatment will launch an innovative drug discovery effort uniting multidisciplinary campus scientists in a common purpose: to develop an effective pharmaceutical therapy for the core deficits of autism.

"UC Irvine has world-class molecular geneticists, biophysicists, neurobiologists, behaviorists, pharmacologists and clinical researchers, many of whom are already engaged in the study of autism and are excited by the opportunity to work together in an integrated program," says Gargus, a nationally recognized metabolic/genetic specialist.

"CART presents a distinctive chance to have a transformational and las
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Contact: Tom Vasich
tmvasich@uci.edu
949-824-6455
University of California - Irvine
Source:Eurekalert

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