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 Statesort icon Grant Year
Maternal supplementation of folic acid and function of autism gene synaptic protein Shank3 in animal model Duke University Durham NC 2008  
IBIS-EARLI Collaboration University of North Carolina Chapel Hill NC 2008  
Modulation of glutamate receptor trafficking in autism: role of MHC class I Princeton University Princeton NJ 2006  
Influence of the maternal immune response on the development of autism University of Medicine and Dentistry Newark NJ 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  
MBD1 regulation of anxiety and autism University of New Mexico Albuquerque NM 2006  
Folate receptor autoimmunity in Autism Spectrum Disorders State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center Brooklyn NY 2012  
Multi-Registry Analyses - Data Mgt Core Columbia University New York NY 2008  
The pathogenesis of autism: maternal antibody exposure in the fetal brain The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research Manhasset NY 2008  
Vulnerability phenotypes and susceptibility to environmental toxicants: from organism to mechanism University of Rochester Rochester NY 2008  
Oxidative Stress and Immune Response in Autism Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities Staten Island NY 2007  
Molecular analysis of gene-environment interactions in the intestines of children with autism Columbia University New York NY 2012  
Anti-Neuronal Autoantibodies in PANDAS and Autism Spectrum Disorders University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Oklahoma City OK 2013  
Early life environmental exposures and autism in an existing Swedish birth cohort Drexel University Philadelphia PA 2011  
Improving Environmental Risk Communication in Autism Spectrum Disorders Drexel University Philadelphia PA 2013  
Prenatal PBDE exposure and ASD-related developmental outcomes in the EARLI cohort Drexel University Philadelphia PA 2012  
IBIS-EARLI Collaboration Drexel University Philadelphia PA 2008  
Prenatal Androgen in Meconium and Early Autism Spectrum Disorder Related Neurodevelopmental Outcomes Drexel University Philadelphia PA 2013  
Consequences of Maternal Antigen Exposure on Offspring Immunity: An Animal Model of Vertical Tolerance Fox Chase Cancer Center Philadelphia PA 2007  
Ethics of Communicating Scientific Findings on Autism Risk Drexel University Philadelphia PA 2008  
Environmental Exposures Measured in Deciduous Teeth as Potential Biomarkers for Autism Risk University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio San Antonio TX 2012  
TMLHE deficiency and a carnitine hypothesis for autism Baylor College of Medicine Houston TX 2011  
Differential Effects of Thimerosal on Cell Division and Apoptosis in Normal vs Autism Spectrum Disorder Cell Lines The Methodist Hospital Research Institute Houston TX 2008  
Epigenetics, hormones and sex differences in autism incidence University of Virginia Charlottesville VA 2008