Autism Speaks, a New York City-based science and advocacy organization, has announced grants totaling $4.8 million in support of research projects that seek to advance the understanding, prevention, and treatment of autism spectrum disorders.
Funds awarded include two environmental science grants, including a grant of $300,000 over two years to Kaiser Permanente's Lisa Croen, Ph.D., who will use prenatal blood to identify links between genetic mutations of the MET receptor and autism risk factors associated with air pollution; and two small business grants , including a grant of more than $95,000 to Ronald Oberleitner of Behavior Imaging Solutions, who is developing a Web-based telehealth system to improve medication management via the Internet for people with ASD.
The organization also awarded six basic and clinical research grants, including a grant of $120,000 over two years to Christina Gross of Emory University for a pilot study to examine the mechanisms underlying brain dysfunction in ASD; a grant of $450,000 over three years to Edward Quadros of the State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center to explore how folate influences fetal brain development and autism risk; and a grant of $450,000 over three years to Sally Ozonoff of University of California, Davis to develop a video-based method that enables parents to assess ASD risk in infants and toddlers.
In addition, the organization announced four targeted research awards, including a grant of $600,000 over three years to Shekhar Saxena of the World Health Organization, who will direct a project in collaboration with Autism Speaks to expand and enhance autism services at existing healthcare facilities and care providers in underserved countries.
For a complete list of grant recipients, visit the Autism Speaks Web site.