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Today we opened our applications process for the 2013 Pre- and Post-doctoral Training Awards for graduate students, medical students and postdoctoral fellows interested in pursuing careers in basic and clinical research relevant to autism spectrum disorders. In the past three years, ASF has funded over $700,000 in pre- and post-doctoral grants.

“Pre- and post-doctoral fellowships not only build our knowledge about what causes autism and how best to treat it, but also build our future by encouraging outstanding young investigators to dedicate their careers to autism research,” said Alison Singer, president of ASF.

“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. ASF 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
  • Human genetics/genomics
  • Immunology
  • Molecular and cellular mechanisms
  • Studies employing model organisms and systems
  • Studies of treatment and service delivery

Applications must be received by November 16, 2012. Additional information about the RFA can be found at www.autismsciencefoundation.org/ApplyForaGrant.html.

Grant applications will be reviewed by members of ASF’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) and other highly qualified reviewers. Current SAB members include Dr. Joseph Buxbaum (Mt. Sinai School of Medicine); Dr. Emanuel DiCicco-Bloom (UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School); Dr. Sharon Humiston (University of Rochester); Dr. Bryan King (University of Washington, Seattle); Dr. Ami Klin (Emory University); Dr. Harold Koplewicz (The Child Mind Institute); Dr. Eric London (New York Institute for Basic Research); Dr. Catherine Lord (New York Center for Autism and the Developing Brain); Dr. David Mandell (University of Pennsylvania/CHOP); Dr. Kevin Pelphrey (Yale Child Study Center) and Dr. Matthew State (Yale Medical School).

To learn more about the ASF’s grant programs, and to read about projects funded through this mechanism in prior years, visit www.autismsciencefoundation.org

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Nine new projects to be funded

Today we announced the recipients of our annual pre- and postdoctoral fellowships.  Six postdoctoral and three predoctoral grants will be awarded to student/mentor teams conducting research in autism interventions, treatment targets, early diagnosis, biomarkers, and animal models. This represents a 50% increase over last year’s six pre- & postdoctoral grants.

“Last week, when the CDC announced a 23% increase in autism prevalence, the autism community demanded more research to understand what is causing autism and to develop better treatments for individuals with autism,” said ASF Co-Founder Karen London. “We are proud to be able to increase our research funding in response to this national health crisis and we are so grateful to all our donors and volunteers who have come together to support autism research and make this funding increase possible.

This year, ASF will fund $330,000 in fellowship grants. In three years of operations, we have funded $790,000 in pre- and postdoctoral grants.

“ASF attracts excellent applicants across the board, and the top choices are exceptional people representing a broad set of perspectives on autism science,” said Dr. Matthew State, Chair of the ASF Scientific Advisory Board and the Donald J. Cohen Professor of Genetics and of Psychiatry at the Yale Child Study Center & Co-Director, Yale Program on Neurogenetics.

Two projects are co-funded by the FRAXA Research Foundation and the Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation. Additional direct funding for ASF’s pre- and postdoctoral grant program was provided by Bailey’s Team and the Rural India Supporting Trust.

The following projects were selected for 2012 funding:

Postdoctoral Fellowships:

  • Inna Fishman/Ralph-Axel Muller: San Diego State University
    Multimodal Imaging of Social Brain Networks in ASD
  • Karyn Heavner/Craig Newschaffer: Drexel University
    Evaluating Epidemiological and Biostatistical Challenges in the EARLI Investigation
  • Haruki Higashimori/Yongjie Yang: Tufts University
    Role of Astrocytic Glutamate Transporter GLT1 in Fragile X
    Co-funded by: FRAXA Research Foundation
  • April Levin/Charles Nelson: Children’s Hospital Boston
    Identifying Early Biomarkers for Autism Using EEG Connectivity
  • Klaus Libertus/Rebecca Landa: Kennedy Krieger Institute
    Effects of Active Motor & Social Training on Developmental Trajectories in Infants at High Risk for ASD
  • Oleksandr Shcheglovitov/Ricardo Dolmetsch: Stanford University School of Medicine
    Using Induced-Pluripotent Stem Cells to Study Phelan McDermid Syndrome
    Co-funded by: Phelan McDermid Syndrome Foundation

Predoctoral Fellowships:

  • Nina Leezenbaum/Jana Iverson: University of Pittsburgh
    Postural and Vocal Development during the First Year of Life in Infants at HeightenedBiological Risk for ASD
  • Jennifer Moriuchi/Ami Klin: Emory University Marcus Autism Center
    Gender and Cognitive Profile as Predictors of Functional Outcomes in School-Aged Children with ASD 
  • Rebecca Simon/Karen Bales: University of California, Davis  MIND Institute
    The Role of Serotonin in Social Bonding in Animal Models

Learn more about the projects selected for funding here – http://www.autismsciencefoundation.org/current-grantees.

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(August 18, 2011—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 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 two years, ASF has funded over $400,000 in pre- and postdoctoral grants.

“This is one of our most important funding mechanisms” said Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation. “The pre- and postdoctoral fellowships not only build our knowledge about what causes autism and how best to treat it, but also build our future by encouraging outstanding young investigators to dedicate their careers to autism research.”

“Outstanding research is the greatest gift we can offer our families” said Karen London, ASF co-founder. “We are so grateful to all our donors and volunteers who have come together to support autism research and who make these grants possible.”

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, human genetics/genomics, immunology, molecular and cellular mechanisms, studies employing model organisms and systems, and studies of treatment and service delivery. Applications must be received by November 18, 2011.

Additional information about the RFA can be found at www.autismsciencefoundation.org/ApplyForaGrant.html

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.

Grant applications will be reviewed by members of ASF’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and other highly qualified reviewers. Current SAB members include Dr. Joseph Buxbaum (Mt. Sinai School of Medicine); Dr. Emanuel DiCicco-Bloom (UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School); Dr. Sharon Humiston (University of Rochester); Dr. Bryan King (University of Washington, Seattle); Dr. Ami Klin (Emory University); Dr. Harold Koplewicz (The Child Mind Institute); Dr. Eric London (New York Institute for Basic Research); Dr. Catherine Lord (New York Institute for Brain Development); Dr. David Mandell (University of Pennsylvania/CHOP); and Dr. Matthew State (Yale Medical School).

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/ApplyForaGrant.html

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Media Contact Info:

Dawn Crawford
Autism Science Foundation
dcrawford@autismsciencefoundation.org

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One year ago today we launched the Autism Science Foundation with the primary goals of supporting great autism research and sharing research findings with clinicians and families. We knew it was time to create an organization that focused completely on science and evidence. And thanks to all of you, our volunteers, our donors and our friends, we are on our way.

In just one short year we are already funding outstanding autism science that has the potential to change the way we think about diagnosing and treating autism.  We have awarded our first round of predoctoral grants in early diagnosis, treatment, epidemiology, and genetics. We are providing scholarships to autism stakeholders, including parents, siblings, medical students and special education teachers, so that they can attend the International Meeting for Autism Research this May and then share what they’ve learned with others in the broader autism community. Our highly trafficked website provides daily news about the latest autism research to families. We are frequently called upon to participate in major media on autism issues. Our board members and volunteers are actively working with families who have received an autism diagnosis to make sure they find the path to progress.  Our unwavering commitment to evidence-based science has earned us the respect of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. 

The Autism Science Foundation offers donors the most effective way to get their contributions to the scientists whose work will make a difference in people’s lives. Our organization is extremely lean and efficient, and our costs are remarkably low. We truly make every dollar count.

And this week, in honor of our anniversary, every dollar will count twice, because a very generous donor has agreed to match every dollar we raise through our first anniversary campaign.

 So please click on this link to make your tax deductible donation in honor of our first year.

Donate online or mail your donation to:

Autism Science Foundation
419 Lafayette Street, 2ndfloor
New York, NY 10003  

Thank you for supporting the autism community with the gifts of hope and science.

Karen London and Alison Singer
Co-founders, Autism Science Foundation

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 The Autism Science Foundation announced today that it is offering a limited number of grants to parents of children with autism, individuals with autism, and other stakeholders to support attendance at the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR), to be held in Philadelphia, May 20-22, 2010. Awards of up to $1000 can be used to cover registration, travel, accommodations, meals and other directly related expenses, including childcare. After the conference, grant recipients will be expected to share what they’ve learned with families in their local communities and/or online.

IMFAR is an annual scientific meeting, convened each spring, to promote, exchange and disseminate the latest scientific findings in autism research and to stimulate research progress in understanding the nature, causes, and treatments for autism spectrum disorders. IMFAR is the annual meeting of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR).

“We are thrilled to be able to give back directly to the autism community in a research-focused way,” said Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation. “The award recipients will bring critical new research information to their communities, increasing the speed with which the latest data are shared with the broader autism community.”

“These scholarships are a wonderful opportunity to bring more stakeholders to the IMFAR and improve dissemination of the latest research findings presented at the conference,” said Dr. David Amaral, president of INSAR and director of research at the University of California at Davis M.I.N.D. Institute.

To apply, send a letter to grants@autismsciencefoundation.org describing why you want to attend IMFAR and, most importantly, explaining how you would share what you learn there with the broader autism community. Letters should be sent as Microsoft Word attachments (use suffix .doc, not .docx) of no more than 2 pages, 12-point type, “Arial” font, with standard margins. In the subject line please write: IMFAR Grant. Letters must be received by March 15, 2010. Recipients will be announced in April. Additional application information is available at www.autismsciencefoundation.org/ApplyForaGrant.html

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(From the NIH)

The National Institutes of Health has awarded more than 50 autism research grants, totaling more than $65 million, which will be supported with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. These grants are the result of the largest funding opportunity for research on autism spectrum disorders (ASD) to date, announced in March 2009.

Awards were based on the quality of the proposed study and how well it addressed short-term research objectives detailed in the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee’s (IACC’s) Strategic Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorder Research.

“These studies currently hold the best promise of revealing what causes autism, how it might be prevented, what treatments are effective, and how service needs change across the lifespan — questions noted in the IACC strategic plan as critically important to improving the lives of people with ASD and their families. The Recovery Act funding makes it possible to do the type of innovative research necessary to find these answers more quickly,” said Thomas R. Insel, M.D., director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of NIH, and IACC chair.

Read more, including examples of grants funded.

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Grants will Fund Doctoral Students Focused on Autism Research

The Autism Science Foundation has released its first request for scientific proposals. ASF is inviting applications for a Doctoral Training Award for graduate students interested in pursuing careers in basic and clinical scientific research relevant to autism spectrum disorders. The proposed training must be scientifically linked to autism.

Applicants must be currently enrolled in a program leading to a research doctorate, a combined degree such as an M.D./Ph.D.or an M.D. at an accredited university. Each student must also have a mentor to oversee his/her work and provide appropriate training.

“We are thrilled to be soliciting grant applications after only five months of fundraising and operations” said Autism Science Foundation President Alison Singer. “Outstanding research is the greatest gift we can offer our families and we intend to make every dollar count”.

Read the full Request for Proposals

Read the press release about this RFP

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