Autism Science

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.

Frequency and Pattern of Documented Diagnostic Features and the Age of Autism Identification

Source: 
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Pediatric Psychiatry
Date Published: 
February 6, 2013
Abstract: 

The age at which a child with autism is diagnosed is related to the particular suite of behavioral symptoms he or she exhibits, according to this study led by an ASF Grantee. Certain diagnostic features, including poor nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors, were associated with earlier identification of an autism spectrum disorder. Displaying more behavioral features was also associated with earlier diagnosis.

For more information about this study, read the guest blog from the lead author here: http://autismsciencefoundation.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/identifying-asd-...

Live Chat with Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen

Source: 
ASF
Date Published: 
April 5, 2013
Abstract: 

Did you miss the live chat? Read the transcript here.

Global Increases in Both Common and Rare Copy Number Load Associated with Autism

Source: 
Human Molecular Genetics
Date Published: 
March 27, 2013
Abstract: 

Penn State researchers link autism to increased genetic change in "hotspots", regions of the genome that are highly susceptible to mutation.

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.

Autism Risk Across Generations A Population-Based Study of Advancing Grandpaternal and Paternal Age

Source: 
JAMA Psychiatry
Date Published: 
March 20, 2013
Abstract: 

Recently published in JAMA Psychiatry, this study put forth a new autism risk factor: advanced grandpaternal age. Compared to men who had children between 20 and 24, men who fathered a child at 50+ were 1-2 times more likely to have a grandchild with autism. The findings suggest some autism risk factors can accumulate over generations.

A Quantitative Link between Face Discrimination Deficits and Neuronal Selectivity for Faces in Autism

Source: 
NeuroImage: Clinical
Date Published: 
March 15, 2013
Abstract: 

In this fMRI study of adults with ASD, reduced neuronal selectivity for faces was linked to greater behavioral deficits in face recognition.

Tipping the balance of autism risk: potential mechanisms linking pesticides and autism.

Source: 
PubMed
Date Published: 
July 2012
Abstract: 

In animal studies, we encourage more research on gene × environment interactions, as well as experimental exposure to mixtures of compounds. Similarly, epidemiologic studies in humans with exceptionally high exposures can identify which pesticide classes are of greatest concern, and studies focused on gene × environment are needed to determine if there are susceptible subpopulations at greater risk from pesticide exposures.