Autism Science Foundation Announces 2010 Doctoral Training Award Recipients

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The Autism Science Foundation announced today that it had awarded doctoral training fellowships to six pre-doctoral students committed to pursuing careers in basic and clinical scientific research relevant to autism spectrum disorders. In all, $180,000 in grants will be distributed to student/mentor teams conducting research in autism treatment, biomarkers, animal models, and epidemiology.

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Too much time has been spent looking backwards at the now debunked theory that vaccines caused autism,” said Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation. “These new grants look forward."

The Autism Science Foundation, a not-for-profit organization founded in April 2009 and dedicated to supporting and funding autism research, announced today that it had awarded doctoral training fellowships to six pre-doctoral students committed to pursuing careers in basic and clinical scientific research relevant to autism spectrum disorders. In all, $180,000 in grants will be distributed to student/mentor teams conducting research in autism treatment, biomarkers, animal models, and epidemiology.

“We are thrilled to be funding grants after only ten months of fundraising and operations,” said Autism Science Foundation co-founder Karen London. “Outstanding research is the greatest gift we can offer our families. We are so grateful to all our donors and volunteers who have come together to support autism research.”

“Too much time has been spent looking backwards at the now debunked theory that vaccines caused autism,” said Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation. “We need to regroup; we need to look forward and invest in discovering biomarkers that can lead to earlier diagnosis, in animal models that can illuminate biological pathways, and in treatments that target the most debilitating aspects of autism. This round of grants is aimed in that direction.”

Grant applications were reviewed by members of the Autism Science Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) as well as by outside scientific experts in specific subject areas. Grants were also reviewed by ASF’s Stakeholder Review Committee, comprised of parents, individuals with autism, a special education teacher and other stakeholders.

The following projects were selected for funding (student/mentor):

  • Sarita Austin/Dr. Rhea Paul; Yale Child Study Center: Enhancing Understanding and Use of Conversational Rules in School-Aged Speakers with Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Karen Burner/Dr. Sara Jane Webb; University of Washington, Seattle: Observational and Electrophysiological Assessments of Temperament in Infants at Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Rhonda Charles/Dr. Joseph Buxbaum; Mount Sinai School of Medicine: A Preclinical Model for Determining the Role of AVPR1A in Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Sarah Hannigen/Dr. Mark Strauss; University of Pittsburgh: Defining High and Low Risk Expression of Emotion in Infants at Risk for Autism
  • Matthew Maenner/Dr. Maureen Durkin; University of Wisconsin, Madison: Phenotypic Heterogeneity and Early Identification of ASD in the United States.
  • Michael Sidorov/Dr. Mark Bear; MIT: Investigation of Postnatal Drug Intervention’s Potential in Rescuing the Symptoms of Fragile X Syndrome in Adult Mice

The Autism Science Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity whose mission is to support autism research by providing funding and other assistance to scientists and organizations conducting, facilitating, publicizing and disseminating 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’s grant programs, visit http://www.autismsciencefoundation.org/ApplyForaGrant.html

Contact Info:    
Julie Martin
Events and Media Manager
Autism Science Foundation
419 Lafayette Street, 2nd floor
New York, NY 10003
646-723-3977

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Julie Martin


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