Autism Research

Multinational Resource Combines Autism Risk Factors

Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
August 5, 2013

A new database compiles health data from seven countries, greatly expanding sample size for epidemiological autism studies. This project, the International Collaboration for Autism Registry Epidemiology (iCARE), combines data from 80,000 individuals diagnosed with autism from the years 1967 to 2009.

Adults Ages 18-25 Needed for Brain Imaging Study

Aug 13 2013
America/New York
Philadelphia, PA
The Study of Visual Perception and Neural Encoding at the Center for Autism Research at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is looking for participants!   



What are the goals of this research study?   

Our brains manage to represent an enormous variety of things that we see. The goal of the study is to better understand how the brain encodes all this visual information, and how some people's brains (such as individuals with an autism spectrum disorder) might work differently to represent the same thing.  


Who can be a part of this research study? 

Adults between the ages of 18 and 25 may take part. We need individuals diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as well as adults without ASD for comparison purposes.     


What will we be asked to do?
Participants will need to make at least two visits to the Center for Autism Research at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Visits will be scheduled at the convenience of the participant. Depending on a participant's needs, most participants will complete the study in two to three visits.

Participants in this study will receive social, behavioral, intelligence (IQ), and other standardized testing. Eligible participants will have brain imaging (magnetic resonance imaging, MRI; and electroencephalography, EEG) while they perform visual tasks.

Individuals who take part will receive a comprehensive evaluation and feedback report.


What are the benefits of taking part in this research study?

There are no direct benefits of taking part in this study.


Are there any costs to take part in the study 

There is no cost to participate. Participants will be paid for their time and reimbursed for their travel expenses.

I want to help! Who do I call?

If you are interested in learning more about participation, please respond by phone or email with your phone number and the best time to reach you, and one of the members of the study team will contact you.




Induced Labor Associated with Autism Risk

JAMA Pediatrics
Date Published: 
August 13, 2013

A study posted in JAMA Pediatrics shows an association with induced and augmented labor with an increased risk of autism. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center studied over 625,000 live births, of which 5,500 were documented as having autism. The study adds, ”While these results are interesting, further investigation is needed to differentiate among potential explanations of the association, including underlying pregnancy conditions requiring the eventual need to induce/augment, the events of labor and delivery...and the specific treatments and dosing used."

Autism’s Unexpected Link to Cancer Gene

The New York Times
Date Published: 
August 11, 2013

Researchers have recently discovered that two seemingly unrelated conditions, autism and cancer, share an unexpected connection. Some people with autism have specific mutated cancer or tumor genes that scientists believe caused their autism. While this does not apply to all people with autism, just the ones with the mutated gene, it is a very illuminating discovery in the field.

Autism Affects Sexes Differently

Date Published: 
June 7, 2013

A Cambridge study that used brain imaging samples of individuals with autism, led by Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen, found evidence that autism affects sexes differently. The study showed that women who have the condition demonstrate “neuroanatomical masculinization”, which suggests that women with autism have more masculine brains.

Dr. Baron-Cohen argues that this study reinforces that researchers "should not blindly assume that everything found in males with autism applies to females."

News Article:

Autism Science Foundation Issues New Request for Scientific Grant Proposals

Date Published: 
August 15, 2013

(August 15, 2013—New York, NY)--The Autism Science Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting and funding autism research, today announced that it had issued a new request for scientific proposals. ASF is inviting applications for pre- and postdoctoral training awards from graduate students, medical students and postdoctoral fellows interested in pursuing careers in basic and clinical research relevant to autism spectrum disorders. In the past four years, ASF has funded just under $1 million in pre and postdoctoral grants.

"We have increased our funding for pre and postdoctoral fellowships every year for the past four years and expect to expand it again this year” said Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation.  “We are committed to supporting outstanding young investigators who want to dedicate their careers to autism research.”

"We are so grateful to all our donors and volunteers who have come together to support autism research and who make these grants possible" said Karen London, co-founder of ASF.

The proposed training must be scientifically linked to autism. Autism Science Foundation will consider for training purposes all areas of related basic and clinical research including but not limited to: human behavior across the lifespan (language, learning, communication, social function, epilepsy, sleep, repetitive disorders), neurobiology (anatomy, development, neuro-imaging), pharmacology, neuropathology, genetics, genomics, epigenetics, epigenomics, immunology, molecular and cellular mechanisms, studies employing model organisms and systems, and studies of treatment and service delivery. Applications must be received by November 15, 2013. Awards will be announced in March, 2014 for projects beginning July-September 2014.

Additional information about this RFA can be found at ApplyForaGrant.html

Last month ASF announced the availability of Research Mini-Grants of up to $5000 to expand the scope, increase the efficiency and improve final product dissemination of active autism research grants.  Applications for mini grants are due by September 30, 2013. 

Additional information about this RFA can be found at

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, facilitating, publicizing and disseminating autism research. The organization 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, and to read about projects funded through this mechanism in prior years, visit




Contact Info:    

Meredith Gilmer
Autism Science Foundation


Autism Science Foundation Issues Request for Applications: 2013 Research Enhancement Mini Grants

Date Published: 
August 15, 2013

The Autism Science Foundation has issued a new request for proposals.

ASF is inviting applications for Research Enhancement Mini-Grants of up to $5000 to enable researchers to expand the scope or increase the efficiency of existing grants, or to take advantage of changes or findings that have occurred in or around the project that warrant more funding.    

"We want researchers to be able to move quickly when they've made the kind of breakthrough that just needs a bit more funding to exploit rapidly, said ASF president Alison Singer.  "We hope these mini grants will encourage scientists to take advantage of new opportunities that occur after a grant is already underway".

Applications must be received by September 30, 2013.  Read the full RFA here.

Request for Applications: 2013 Research Enhancement Mini Grants


RFA Released: July 15, 2013

Applications Due: September 30, 2013

The Autism Science Foundation invites applications for its Research Enhancement Mini Grants. This grant mechanism is designed to expand the scope, increase the efficiency and improve final product dissemination of active autism research grants.

Autism Science Foundation will make a number of awards determined by its available financial resources. The term of this award cannot exceed the term of the active grant nor the IRB/IACUC approval period on the underlying grant.

Grants of up to $5000 are available to enhance, expand or enrich currently-funded grants (including those funded by ASF). All projects must have prior IRB/IACUC approval. No portion of these funds shall be used to cover indirect university costs.

Brain Imaging Study Suggests Autism and Asperger's Syndrome May Be Biologically Distinct Conditions

BMC Medicine
Date Published: 
June 26, 2012

A brain imaging study out of Boston Children's Hospital suggests that autism and Asperger's syndrome are biologically distinct conditions. The study analyzes the patterns of brain connectivity in children with ASD and found that children with autism might have distinct neural signaling patterns. This study follows the release of the APA's new DSM-5 that classifies Asperger's under an umbrella diagnosis of ASD.

News Article:

Caregiver Burden as People with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder Transition into Adolescence and Adulthood in the United Kingdom

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry
Date Published: 
September, 2012
Year Published: 

This study conducted an observational study of 192 families caring for a young person (aged 14 to 24 years) with a childhood diagnosis of ASD or ADHD (n = 101 and n = 91, respectively) in the United Kingdom. A modified stress-appraisal model was used to investigate the correlates of caregiver burden as a function of family background (parental education), primary stressors (symptoms), primary appraisal (need), and resources (use of services).