Autism Speaks Awards $2.9 Million in Research Fellowships, Grants

Autism Speaks, a New York City-based science and advocacy organization, has announced pre- and postdoctoral fellowships and grants totaling nearly $2.9 million to advance understanding of autism biology, develop medicines and behavioral treatments for the disorder, and expand access to early intervention programs.

Grants announced by the organization include a Suzanne and Bob Wright Trailblazer Award of $100,000 to Raymond Palmer, a researcher at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio, who will explore the use of baby teeth to track exposure to chemicals that may affect autism risk.

The organization also announced four awards for targeted research studies in high-priority areas, including $179,407 over three years to Laura Carpenter of the Medical University of South Carolina to study the impact on autism diagnosis of proposed changes to the definition of autism in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5); $400,000 over two years to David Mandell of the University of Pennsylvania to examine the effectiveness of efforts to improve access to early intervention in an underserved minority community; $274,347 over two years to Joseph Buxbaum of Mount Sinai School of Medicine to identify key genes and brain pathways disrupted in autism spectrum disorders; and $100,441 to Richard Paylor of the Baylor College of Medicine to complete a classification of autism-like behaviors in genetically engineered rat models.

In addition, the organization awarded eight Weatherstone Predoctoral Fellowships in support of cutting-edge research by young scientists under the mentorship of leading researchers, as well as ten Postdoctoral Fellowships in Translational Research to help translate scientific discoveries in the lab into real-world treatments.

For a complete list of grant recipients, visit the Autism Speaks Web site.

"Autism Speaks Awards New Research Grants." Autism Speaks Press Release 06/21/2012.