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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
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  
Vulnerability phenotypes and susceptibility to environmental toxicants: from organism to mechanism University of Rochester Rochester NY 2008  
IBIS-EARLI Collaboration Drexel University Philadelphia PA 2008  
Multi-Registry Analyses - Israel Sheba Medical Center Tel Hashomer 2008  
Multi-Registry Analyses - Western Australia University of Western Australia Perth 2008  
Effect of oxytocin receptor inhibitor (Atosiban) during the perinatal period and prevalence of autism spectrum disorders Hebrew University Jerusalem 2008  
Genetic and epigenetic interactions in a mouse model for autism University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles CA 2008  
Maternal Infection and Autism: Impact of Placental Sufficiency and Maternal Inflammatory Responses on Fetal Brain Development Stanford University Stanford CA 2008  
Epigenetics, hormones and sex differences in autism incidence University of Virginia Charlottesville VA 2008  
Ethics of Communicating Scientific Findings on Autism Risk Drexel University Philadelphia PA 2008  
Maternal supplementation of folic acid and function of autism gene synaptic protein Shank3 in animal model Duke University Durham NC 2008  
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  
IBIS-EARLI Collaboration University of North Carolina Chapel Hill NC 2008  
Influence of Oxidative Stress on Transcription and Alternative Splicing of Methionine Synthase in Autism Northeastern University Boston MA 2008  
Multi-Registry Analyses - Norway Norwegian Institute of Public Health Oslo 2008  
Multi-Registry Analyses - Finland Turku University Turku 2008  
Teratology Society Meeting Support University of California, San Diego La Jolla CA 2009  
Vaccination with regression study Kaiser Permanente, Center for Health Research-Southeast Atlanta GA 2009  
Evaluation of the immune and physiologic response in children with autism following immune challenge. University of California, Davis Davis CA 2009  
Early Exposure to Acetaminophen and Autism University of California, Davis Davis CA 2010