Expanding the Utility of Biological Markers in ASD

The Autism Biomarkers Consortium for Clinical Trials (ABC-CT) is a multicenter research study based at Yale that also includes Duke University, Boston Children’s Hospital, the University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the University of California, Los Angeles. The aim of the consortium is to develop reliable and objective measurements of social function and communication in people with autism, based on underlying neurobiological signals rather than on behavior. To date, measuring several of these biological signals (by both the ABC-CT and other research groups) as objective markers, has only taken place in a laboratory environment by showing participants videos on computers.   

Because many autistic individuals cannot sit still in a clinical setting, and because people normally don’t encounter the world in front of a computer,  it is not known if these biomarkers are valid in real-life settings. The ASF accelerator grant will enable researchers to expand their study by going out into the community with mobile biomarker measuring devices that allow participants to move freely rather than be tethered to a computer.  Data from this portion of the project will provide information about whether specific biomarkers are present in real-world settings. It will also enable researchers to access a broader diversity of participants. 


Jason Griffin