Autism News

Autism Science Foundation Announces 2013 Grant Recipients

Date Published: 
April 15, 2013
Abstract: 

Today, the Autism Science Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to funding autism research, announced the recipients of its annual pre- and postdoctoral fellowships, as well as the first recipient of a new 3-year early career award, and the recipient of its first treatment grant. Three postdoctoral and four predoctoral grants will be awarded to student/mentor teams conducting research in autism interventions, etiology, treatment targets, early diagnosis, biomarkers and animal models. Dr. Jill Locke of the University of Pennsylvania was named the recipient of ASF’s first multi-year grant, and Dr. Alex Kolevzon of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai will receive ASF’s first treatment award.

Autism Science Foundation Announces
2013 Grant Recipients
Nine new projects to be funded
 
(April 15, 2013 -- New York, NY)—Today, the Autism Science Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to funding autism research, announced the recipients of its annual pre- and postdoctoral fellowships, as well as the first recipient of a new 3-year early career award, and the recipient of its first treatment grant.  Three postdoctoral and four predoctoral grants will be awarded to student/mentor teams conducting research in autism interventions, etiology, treatment targets, early diagnosis, biomarkers and animal models. Dr. Jill Locke of the University of Pennsylvania was named the recipient of ASF’s first multi-year grant, and Dr. Alex Kolevzon of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai will receive ASF’s first treatment award.
 
“The autism community has demanded more research to understand what is causing autism and to develop better treatments,” said ASF President Alison Singer. “We are proud to be able to increase our research funding in response to this national health crisis and we are especially grateful to all our donors and volunteers who have come together to support autism research and make these grants possible.”
This year, the Autism Science Foundation will fund just over $350,000 in grants. In its four years of operation, ASF has funded over $1.1 million in grants. 
 
“ASF attracts outstanding applicants across the board, representing a broad range of perspectives on autism science,” said Dr. Matthew State, Chair of the ASF Scientific Advisory Board and Chairman of the Psychiatry Department at the University of California, San Francisco. “These projects show great potential to move the field forward.”
 
The following projects were selected for 2013 funding:
 
3-Year Early Career Award:
 
Dr. Jill Locke: University of Pennsylvania
Multi-Site, Randomized, Controlled Implementation Trial of an Evidence-Based, Adult and Peer-Mediated Social Skills Intervention for Elementary School Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Co-funded with the FAR Fund
 
 
Treatment Grant:
 
Dr. Alexander Kolevzon: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Human Clinical Trial of IGF-1 in Children with Idiopathic ASD
 
 
Postdoctoral Fellowships:
 
Dr. Aimee Badeaux & Dr. Yang Shi: Boston Children’s Hospital
Molecular Characterization of Autism Gene CHD8 in Shaping the Brain Epigenome
 
Dr. Sara Schaafsma & Dr. Donald Pfaff: Rockefeller University
Sex-Specific Gene-Environment Interactions Underlying ASD
 
Dr. Teresa Tavassoli & Dr. Joseph Buxbaum: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Developing a Sensory Reactivity Composite Score for the New DSM-5
 
 
Predoctoral Fellowships:
 
Alexandra Bey & Dr. Yong-hui Jiang: Duke University
The Role of Shank3 in Neocortex Versus Striatum and the Pathophysiology of Autism
 
Ezzat Hashemi & Dr. Veronica Martinez-Cerdeno: University of California, Davis
Alteration of Dendrite and Spine Number and Morphology in the Human Prefrontal Cortex in Autism
 
Jessie Northrup & Dr. Jana Iverson: University of Pittsburgh
Development of Vocal Coordination between Caregivers and Infants at Risk for ASD
 
Russell Port & Dr. Timothy Roberts: University of Pennsylvania
GABA and Gamma-Band Activity: Biomarker for ASD?
 
Learn more about the projects selected for funding at: 
http://www.autismsciencefoundation.org/current-grantees-2013
 
The Autism Science Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity. Its mission is to support autism research by providing funding to scientists and organizations conducting autism research. ASF also provides information about autism to the general public and serves to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the needs of individuals and families affected by autism. To learn more about the Autism Science Foundation or to make a donation visit www.autismsciencefoundation.org.  
 
Contact Information:   
Casey Gold
Operations Manager
Autism Science Foundation
212-391-3913
cgold@autismsciencefoundation.org
 

Mutations in BCKD-kinase Lead to a Potentially Treatable Form of Autism with Epilepsy

Source: 
Science
Date Published: 
October 19, 2012
Abstract: 

A research team led by Gaia Novarino of the University of California, San Diego, has identified genetic mutations which cause a form of autism that could potentially be treated with dietary supplements.

Respite Care, Marital Quality, and Stress in Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Source: 
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Date Published: 
March 2013
Abstract: 

In a new study looking at parents of children with ASD, researchers found that parents were less stressed and had improved marital quality with each hour of respite care received.

White House Announces New Brain Research Initiative

Date Published: 
April 2, 2013
Abstract: 

ASF President Alison Singer joined President Obama for the official public announcement of the BRAIN Initiative.

Increasing Exposure to Antibody-Stimulating Proteins and Polysaccharides in Vaccines Is Not Associated with Risk of Autism

Source: 
Journal of Pediatrics
Date Published: 
March 6, 2013
Abstract: 

This CDC study casts further doubt on the link between autism and vaccines. The study found no connection between the number of vaccines received and autism risk.

De Novo Gene Disruptions in Children on the Autistic Spectrum.

Source: 
Neuron
Date Published: 
April 26, 2012
Abstract: 

FMRP-associated genes are under greater purifying selection than the remainder of genes and suggest they are especially dosage-sensitive targets of cognitive disorders.

The Geometric Structure of the Brain Fiber Pathways

Source: 
Science
Date Published: 
March 30, 2012
Abstract: 

Using diffusion magnetic resonance imaging, researchers found cerebral fiber pathways formed a rectilinear three-dimensional grid and Cortico-cortical pathways formed parallel sheets of interwoven paths in four nonhuman primate species and in humans.

Developmental Trajectories of Resting EEG Power: an Endophenotype of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Source: 
PLoS One
Date Published: 
2012
Abstract: 

Differences in the nature of the trajectories of EEG power represent important endophenotypes of ASD.

The Complement System: An Unexpected Role in Synaptic Pruning During Development and Disease

Source: 
Annual Review of Neuroscience
Date Published: 
2012
Abstract: 

Researchers unexpectedly found that neural complement proteins may have a roll in the elimination of connections between brain cells, potentially driving disease progression.

Autistic-like behaviours and hyperactivity in mice lacking ProSAP1/Shank2.

Source: 
PubMed
Date Published: 
April 29, 2012
Abstract: 

It is proposed that appropriate therapies for autism spectrum disorders are to be carefully matched to the underlying synaptopathic phenotype.