Yale University has announced a $2 million grant to the Yale School of Medicine from the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) for a national study aimed at identifying non-invasive biomarkers in children with autism spectrum disorders.
The study is part of a new four-year, $28 million public-private collaboration that includes SFARI, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. To be managed by the FNIH Biomarkers Consortium, the grant will support a multi-site effort to collect data from children with ASD over a six-month period and evaluate key facets of social communication in children with ASD using a number of measures. In addition, researchers will collect DNA samples from patients with ASD and their parents for future analysis. Data collection will take place at five sites — Duke University, Boston Children's Hospital, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Washington/Seattle Children's Research Institute, and Yale.
"We are truly excited to carry out this ambitious and important project," said James McPartland, the study's principal investigator and associate professor at the Yale Child Study Center at Yale School of Medicine. "We will create methods to fundamentally advance treatment research in autism."