The International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR)

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Conference Will Bring Together More Than 1800 Scientists From Around the World to Discuss the Latest Findings on the Causes, Treatments and Diagnoses of Autism. Press Conference Highlighting Key Studies Will Take Place Wednesday, May 19 at 2 p.m.

“This year’s program represents the most rigorous and exciting autism science...since IMFAR’s inception in 2001,” said David Mandell, Sc.D., chairman of IMFAR Program Committee.

The 9th Annual International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) will host more than 1800 researchers, delegates, autism specialists, and students in the world’s largest gathering of researchers and clinicians devoted to a better understanding of autism. The meeting will be held at the Philadelphia Marriott from May 20-22, 2010.

Scientists at IMFAR will discuss and disseminate the latest scientific findings focused on the nature, causes and treatment options for autism spectrum disorders. By bringing together both clinicians and research scientists, IMFAR provides a unique opportunity to foster international dialogue across various disciplines and methods. This year’s meeting includes includes more than 900 research and educational presentations, lectures and panel discussions over three days.

“Our program committee has uniformly told me that this year’s program represents the most rigorous and exciting autism science they’ve seen since IMFAR’s inception in 2001,” said David Mandell, Sc.D., chairman of IMFAR Program Committee. “Two themes come across in this year’s presentations. First, a large number of presentations cross traditional disciplinary boundaries. For the first time, scientists are starting to connect genetics to brain function to behavior, in a way that hasn’t happened before in autism. Second, the studies examining autism interventions have greatly increased in number and rigor, with more reliance on randomized trials. This increases our confidence in the results and enthusiasm for our ability to improve quality of life for people with autism and their families.”

A press conference will be held one day before the start of the conference on Wednesday May 19 at 2 p.m. at the Philadelphia Marriott. At the press conference, scientists will discuss key studies to be presented during IMFAR including; new educational interventions for children with autism that have been tested in general education classrooms; a study that sheds light on why autistic infants fail to develop language and why failure to comprehend language is a valid behavioral red flag of risk for autism; and the efficacy of the gluten free/casein free diet that many parents use with their children with autism spectrum disorders, hoping that it will improve symptoms.

Press Conference participants will include:

  •     David Amaral, Ph.D., President, the International Society for Autism Research
  •     David Mandell, Sc.D., Chairman of IMFAR Program Committee
  •     Joseph Buxbaum, Ph.D., Mount Sinai School of Medicine
  •     Eric Courchesne, Ph.D., UCSD
  •     Susan Hyman, M.D., University of Rochester School of Medicine
  •     Connie Kasari, Ph.D., UCLA

Note: Pre-conference embargoed study information will be provided to media attending the press conference upon request. Press can also call in and listen: 866-866-2244; participant code: 6808311. Questions during the conference can be sent via email to jrubinstein (at) rubenstein (dot) com.

Media Contacts:
Jane Rubinstein, Rubenstein Communications (212) 843-8287 / (516) 993-0708
Dana Marnane, Autism Speaks (646) 408-5749 / (212) 252-8650

Press Conference May 19, 2 p.m.:
Philadelphia Marriott, Ben Franklin 9, Fourth Floor
1201 Market Street, Philadelphia

Press Registration:
Media can register via email http://www.autism-insar.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=191&Itemid=167

One-on-one interviews with press conference participants can be arranged in advance of the press conference on embargo or immediately after the press conference. Press room will be available for interviews throughout the conference as well in person or on the phone. The IMFAR Press room is located on the fourth floor in Meeting Room 403.

About INSAR
The International Society for Autism Research (INSAR), created in 2001, is a scientific and professional organization devoted to advancing knowledge about autism spectrum disorders (ASD), including autism, Asperger's syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorders-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). The Society’s main role has been to run the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR), which is an annual scientific meeting to exchange and disseminate new scientific progress among ASD scientists and their trainees. INSAR recently launched a new peer-reviewed journal, Autism Research, to serve both the scientific community and public by rapidly publishing high quality scientific papers to promote advances in this important field of research. To view the journal, visit http://www.autismresearchjournal.com.

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Jane Rubinstein
Rubenstein Communications
(212) 843-8287
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