Current Grantees

The Autism Science Foundation is Proud to Announce the 2017 ASF Grantees

Postdoctoral Fellowships:

Predoctoral Fellowships:

Undergraduate Summer Research Grants:

Danielle Dennis
Mentor: Rebecca M. Jones, PhD, Cornell University

Danielle will work at the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain to understand how the brains of individuals with autism function in tasks involving impulsivity. Her research will help improve intervention targets, specifically for adolescents who struggle in impulse control.

Jacqueline Emerson
Mentor: Geraldine Dawson, PhD, Duke University 

Sensory sensitivities may contribute to the presence of restricted and repetitive behaviors (RRBs) like mouthing and hand flapping. Jacqueline will combine information on sensitivity with sensory information, including a new way to measure how people with autism react to sensory stimuli. This will help improve our understanding of what contributes to different RRBs so they can be better treated.

Christopher Esposito
Mentor: Matthew D. Lerner, PhD, Stony Brook University

Individuals with autism struggle with obtaining, securing and maintaining employment. Christopher will work with Dr. Lerner to conduct a survey of individuals with autism, family members, employers and service providers on experiences, needs, and ways to improve employment opportunities, with the ultimate goals of developing an employment policy to help those with autism.

Edward Gao
Mentor: Stephan Sanders, MD, BMBS, University of California at San Francisco

Edward will use a novel analytic tool developed by Google/Verily Life Sciences to study the genetic makeup of thousands of families, with the goal of identifying new genes associated with autism. Adaptations to this tool will help better identify a specific type of genetic change that has recently been discovered in ASD.

Ellyn Pueschel
Mentor: Inna Fishman, PhD, San Diego State University

Relatively little is known about brain development in the first year of life, so making comparisons between those with and without autism is very difficult. Ellyn will combine images from existing brain atlases to create a template of the typically-developing infant brain so that it can be compared to the brains of infants at risk for autism.

Laura Thomas
Mentor: Jed Elison, PhD, University of Minnesota

Laura’s research will focus on the amygdala, an area of the brain known to be affected in adults with autism. This project will study the function of the amygdala during an attention task in toddlers to help better determine the biological basis of attention problems in young children – problems that may be responsive to early treatment.