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A.J. Drexel Autism Institute receives $1.5 million from the Charles and Barbara Close Foundation
Date:3/20/2012

PHILADELPHIA (March 20, 2012) Drexel University has received a gift of $1.5 million from the Charles and Barbara Close Foundation, founded by Drexel alumnus Charles Close ('36), to help establish the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute. The Institute is the nation's first autism center focused on public health science.

"Public health science brings population-focused strategies to autism research. The ultimate goal is to discover, develop and implement approaches for preventing the morbidity and disability associated with autism," said Dr. Marla J. Gold, dean of Drexel's School of Public Health.

Autism is believed to affect at least 700,000, or one in 110, U.S. children and perhaps up to 4 million U.S. adults, many of whom are undiagnosed.

Under the leadership of Dr. Craig Newschaffer, professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute will build capacity to conduct research that addresses the larger picture of autism's impact throughout the lifespan on individuals, families, schools, social service systems and communities.

"Our approach will range from research focused on discovering preventable causes of the morbidity and disability that comes with autism, to work designed to find out how intervention and supportive approaches can be effectively scaled up to do the most good in our communities," said Newschaffer. "Over the next several years we will bring outstanding public health scientists to Drexel to join our Institute team and to partner with the range of organizations in the region that share our commitment to autism."

As the Institute grows, areas of emphasis will include:

  • Environmental risk factor epidemiology and exposure biology: Discovering preventable causes.
  • Early diagnosis and intervention: Finding ways to help children with autism receive services more quickly and efficiently, and spreading the most effective intervention approaches th
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Contact: Rachel Ewing
raewing@drexel.edu
215-895-2614
Drexel University
Source:Eurekalert  

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A.J. Drexel Autism Institute receives $1.5 million from the Charles and Barbara Close Foundation
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