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Archive for February, 2012

How often have you wished for an extra hour or extra day to get everything you need done? In 2012, we get a WHOLE DAY! At ASF, we want to make the most of this special leap day by using it to help autism science leap forward.

Thanks to your support, for the last two years we have provided funding for autism stakeholders (parents, individuals with autism, teachers, students, etc) to attend the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR).

All donations made today, February 29, 2012, will go directly to our IMFAR Travel Grants program, helping us provide more scholarships to IMFAR 2012 in Toronto where they will share their real world autism experience with scientists. These stakeholders will then bring the latest autism science back into our communities helping the science take a giant leap forward.

After attending IMFAR, past grant recipients have:

  • Organized a five day autism science seminar at Barnard College
  • Presented critical autism research information to nurses in Philadelphia
  • Produced multiple blog posts that reached thousands of readers around the world
  • Organized an autism awareness club and speaker series at Yale University

And thanks to a generous donor, all donations made today (February 29, 2012) will be matched dollar for dollar for an extra big leap.

Do something special with this extra day of 2012 and help leap science forward. Please make a donation today!

BTW – It’s no coincidence that applications for our IMFAR travel grants are due today. Thinking of applying? Click here to learn more.

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Rhonda Charles is a 2010 ASF Grant Winner and a PhD Student in the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. Ms. Charles’ work focuses on the AVPR1A gene, which affects social behavior and anxiety in autism spectrum disorder. Her ASF- funded study puts the human AVPR1A gene into a mouse model, a key step that must occur before we can introduce pharmacological treatments for individuals with autism affected by AVPR1A mutations.

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Dr. Joseph Buxbaum is the Director of the Seaver Autism Center. Dr. Buxbaum discusses the SHANK3 gene, which helps synapses to properly function. Around 1% of children with ASD have SHANK3 mutations, making it one of the most common single-gene causes of autism. Dr. Buxbaum also discusses Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF1), which is the second drug aimed at treating core symptoms of autism, and is currently being tested on humans.

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