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Grants Related to Potential Environmental Factors in Autism

Autism Speaks is committed to facilitating research that will uncover the causes of autism and develop effective biomedical treatments. As part of this commitment, Autism Speaks has funded research projects that explore potential environmental factors in autism. For the years 2006-2011, Autism Speaks is funding $27,916,097 for environmental research.

These current grants build on previous commitments by the National Alliance for Autism Research, or NAAR, and Cure Autism Now. From 1997-2005, NAAR funded $2,164,888 in grants on environmental factors (click here for details) while from 2000-2005 Cure Autism Now funded $828,041 in such research (click here for details). The combined funding commitment to date on autism environmental sciences is $16,347,559.

Autism Speaks Support of Environmental Factors in Autism

This funding has included support for:

  • Pilot Studies
  • Basic and Clinical Research Studies
  • Fellowships and Young Investigator Awards
  • Special Projects
  • Augmentation and Bridge Awards
  • Environmental Innovative Award
  • The Interactive Autism Network (IAN)
  • Meetings and Conferences to promote research in environmental sciences

Topics of research include:

The direct role of toxicants and other environmental factors

Studies which indirectly assess toxicant exposure, or pathways in which environmental factors may act in the brain (for example, the immune system or the oxidative stress pathway)

Other areas of study of environmental factors:

  • Molecular biology and toxicology using animal and in-vitro models
  • Epidemiological studies in international territories, illustrating potential gene-environmental interactions
  • Assessment of environmental factors which are not considered toxicants (for example, diet and prenatal hormone levels)

Title Institution City State Grant Yearsort icon
Modulation of glutamate receptor trafficking in autism: role of MHC class I Princeton University Princeton NJ 2006  
Exploring the epigenetics of twins with autism Johns Hopkins University Baltimore MD 2006  
Neuroinflammation, the kynurenine pathway, and autism University of Maryland, College Park College Park MD 2006  
Role of Cytokines in Mediating the Effects of Maternal Immune Activation on the Fetal Brain California Institute of Technology Pasadena CA 2006  
Teratogen induced ASD and brainstem development National Institute for Medical Research London 2006  
Effect of non-stereo anti-inflammation drugs on neuronal migration Yale University New Haven CT 2006  
MBD1 regulation of anxiety and autism University of New Mexico Albuquerque NM 2006  
Is autoimmunity involved in pathogenesis of autism? Yale University New Haven CT 2006  
Maternal risk factors for autism in the Nurses Health Study II - pilot study Harvard University Cambridge MA 2007  
Early developmental risk factors for autism in a national birth cohort Turku University Turku 2007  
Maternal dietary factors and risk of autism spectrum disorders Massachusetts General Hospital Boston MA 2007  
Augmentation of CA CADDRE Studies Kaiser Permanente Oakland CA 2007  
Oxidative Stress and Immune Response in Autism Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities Staten Island NY 2007  
Consequences of Maternal Antigen Exposure on Offspring Immunity: An Animal Model of Vertical Tolerance Fox Chase Cancer Center Philadelphia PA 2007  
Immune molecules and cortical synaptogenesis: possible implications for the pathogenesis of autism University of California, Davis Davis CA 2007  
Molecular and Environmental Influences on Autism Pathophysiology University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles CA 2007  
Immunobiology in Autism University of California, Davis Davis CA 2007  
Multi-Registry Analyses - Sweden Karolinska Institutet Stockholm 2008  
Multi-Registry Analyses - Data Mgt Core Columbia University New York NY 2008  
Multi-Registry Analyses - Denmark University of Aarhus Aarhus 2008  
Influence of the maternal immune response on the development of autism University of Medicine and Dentistry Newark NJ 2008  
Assisted Reproductive Treatments and Risk of Autism King's College London London 2008  
The pathogenesis of autism: maternal antibody exposure in the fetal brain The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research Manhasset NY 2008  
Analysis of developmental interactions between Reelin haploinsufficiency, male sex, and mercury exposure University Campus Bio-Medico of Roma Rome 2008  
Influence of maternal cytokines during pregnancy on effector and regulatory T helper cells as etiological factors in autism University of Medicine and Dentistry Newark NJ 2008