Participate in the Autism Sisters Project

Location: New York, NY - Mount Sinai Hospital
Start Date: October 13th, 2015
End Date: December 31st, 2019

The Autism Sisters Project is an exciting opportunity for unaffected sisters of individuals with autism to participate in research alongside their sibling(s) with autism, to help researchers understand the so-called “female protective effect,” a theory for why more males than females have autism, and why autism is expressed differently in males than in females.

ASF Sisters Project from Autism Science Foundation on Vimeo.


To participate in the Autism Sisters Project, interested participants should contact the Seaver Autism Center by phone at 212-241-0961 or by email at

The Autism Sisters Project was recently featured by the Associated Press. To read the story, click here.

Autism Science Foundation president Alison Singer appeared on on NBC News 4 New York to discuss the Sisters Project. To view the short clip, click here.

For complete information about the Sisters Project, view the official press release.

The project will convene a scientific advisory panel in November led by Joseph D. Buxbaum, PhD, Director of the Seaver Autism Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, along with experts in genetics, statistical genetics, epidemiology, and ASD clinicians. The panel will develop a study protocol that will allow the question of the female protective effect to be properly addressed.

The other advisory panel members are: Somer Bishop, PhD (UCSF); Ed Cook, MD (University of Illinois at Chicago); Mark Daly, PhD (Harvard Medical School/Broad Institute); Bernie Devlin, PhD (University of Pittsburgh); Elise Robinson, PhD (Harvard Medical School); Kathryn Roeder, PhD (Carnegie Melon); Stephan Sanders, PhD (UCSF); Celine Saulnier, PhD (Marcus Autism Center at Emory); Paige Siper, PhD (Mount Sinai); Huda Zoghbi, PhD (Baylor); and Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, MD (University of Alberta).

“The female protective effect is a very important area of investigation in the autism research community and the Autism Sisters Project is going to jumpstart the process of developing a necessary cohort of unaffected female siblings,” said Dr. Buxbaum. “I, and all my colleagues at Mount Sinai, are thrilled to be partnering with the Autism Science Foundation on this initiative. This is an enormously exciting opportunity for sisters of individuals with autism to take a proactive role in advancing important research.”