Autism Science

Autism Science Foundation Issues New Request for Scientific Grant Proposals

Abstract: 

ASF is inviting applications for pre- and postdoctoral training awards and medical school gap year research training awards from graduate students, medical students and postdoctoral fellows interested in pursuing careers in basic and clinical research relevant to autism spectrum disorders.

Grants will fund pre- and postdoctoral autism research fellowships
and medical school gap year research fellowships

Informational Conference Call: September 15, 2015, 12:00pm et

(August 11, 2014—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 and medical school gap year research 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 five years, ASF has funded $1.5 million in pre- and postdoctoral grants.

"We have increased our funding for pre- and postdoctoral fellowships every year for the past five 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 14, 2014. Awards will be announced in March 2015 for projects beginning July-September 2015.

Additional information about this RFA can be found at http://autismsciencefoundation.org/ ApplyForaGrant.html

The Autism Science Foundation will hold an informational conference call regarding the predoctoral, postdoctoral, and medical school fellowship RFA on September 15, 2014 at 12:00pm ET.  The call will outline best practices for completing the application. Participation on the conference call is NOT required for application.  The call in number is: 866-906-9888 and the participant code is 2574613#

ASF also has an open RFA for 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 12, 2014. 

Additional information about the Research Mini-Grant RFA can be found at http://autismsciencefoundation.org/apply-research-mini-grant.

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 www.autismsciencefoundation.org

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Contact Info:  
Meredith Gilmer
Autism Science Foundation
mgilmer@autismsciencefoundation.org

 

Language Tool Aims to Measure Children's Conversation Skills

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
August 6, 2014
Abstract: 

A test designed to characterize natural, spontaneous language use in autism shows solid promise in its first trials in typically developing children. The results were published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.The researchers assessed the ease of use and reliability of the test in 180 typically developing children in Michigan, ranging in age from 2 to 5 years. They confirmed that the youngest children can do the various tasks on the test and that the codes developed for the test match the skills of the oldest children. The researchers' goal is to build a baseline of standard scores against which the scores of children with autism or other communication disorders can be compared.

Tools for Autism Screening Must Vary with Language, Culture

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
August 1, 2014
Abstract: 

At its core, autism is the same disorder worldwide. And ideally, it should be possible to identify it consistently and accurately everywhere. But most screening methods for the disorder were developed in the U.K. and U.S., and linguistic and cultural differences can affect their performance elsewhere.

Senate Passes Autism Bill

Source: 
The Hill
Date Published: 
June 31, 2014
Abstract: 

The Senate passed a bill Thursday night that reauthorizes federal support for autism programs. The Autism CARES Act, H.R. 4631, requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to designate an official to oversee national autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research. It also extends autism education programs through 2019. The House passed the measure by voice vote last month and the Senate agreed to it through a unanimous consent agreement. The bill now heads to President Obama’s desk for his signature.

ASF President Alison Singer on Good Morning America Comments on Research About Kids Moving Off the Spectrum

Source: 
Good Morning America
Date Published: 
July 31, 2014
Abstract: 

New research by Cathy Lord and Deborah Fein suggests 10% of kids with autism achieve "optimal outcome." Autism Science Foundation President Alison Singer speaks about this new research on Good Morning America, saying there's no miracle cure, and that we need more research so we can discover why certain children are improving so that the same opportunity for improvement can be expanded to more children.

Autism Study Seeks Brain Tissue Donations

Source: 
MyFoxNY
Date Published: 
July 10, 2014
Abstract: 

A lab called Autism BrainNet is collecting brains for study. The belief is that brain tissue study is the key to solving autism. Unlike with Alzheimer's disease, where literally thousands of brains have been studied, during the last three decades only 100 autism brains have been studied. Four to five brains are donated for research every year. The Autism BrainNet study is looking to triple that number with the hope of answering some of the most basic questions about the disorder. For more information about the program go to: www.takesbrains.org

Disruptive CHD8 Mutations Define a Subtype of Autism Early in Development

Source: 
Cell
Date Published: 
July 7, 2014
Abstract: 

A variation in the CHD8 gene has a strong likelihood of leading to a type of autism accompanied by digestive problems, a larger head and wide-set eyes, a study in Cell reports. This discovery is part of an emerging approach to studying the underlying mechanisms of autism and what those mean for people with the condition. Many research teams are trying to group subtypes of autism based on genetic profiles. This is the first time researchers have shown a definitive cause of autism from a genetic mutation.

Motor Deficits Match Autism Severity

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
June 20, 2014
Abstract: 

The severity of core autism symptoms in young children goes hand in hand with the degree of the children’s difficulty with motor tasks, according to a study published in the April issue of the Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly. Early interventions, such as therapies that target social and communicative behavior, may alter autism’s course. Building strong motor skills may help children with autism develop better social and communicative skills, especially in physically demanding play, the researchers say.

For Flagging Autism Risk, Using Two Tests is Best Option

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
June 20, 2014
Abstract: 

The average child with autism is 18 months old before his or her parents first begin to be concerned. Given the importance of early intervention, it’s crucial that parents and doctors both catch on to the symptoms as soon as possible. A study published in European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry finds that two autism screens are better than one at identifying toddlers who need specialized clinical services. These screens, such as the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) and the Early Screening of Autistic Traits (ESAT), are used not to diagnose autism, but rather to identify children who need more specialized attention — for example, from a child psychiatrist or a behavioral therapist.

Autism Science Foundation Request for Applications: 2014 Research Enhancement Mini-Grants

Source: 
The Autism Science Foundation
Date Published: 
June 24, 2014
Abstract: 

The Autism Science Foundation today released its request for applications for 2014 Research Enhancement Mini-Grants. ASF is inviting applications for grants of up to $5,000 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 an existing project that warrant more funding. Applications must be received by September 12, 2014.

 Read the full RFA here