The 5th annual International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) took place in Montreal, Canada June 1 through June 3. This annual meeting is aimed at providing an opportunity for researchers to share their findings
in an interdisciplinary and international environment. Such rapid sharing of information can stimulate research into understanding the nature and causes of autism, all in order for treatments to be developed as rapidly as possible. In addition to talks and poster presentations by attendees, the program featured special educational symposia on Early Detection, Psychopharmacology, Psychosocial Interventions, Epidemiology, Genetics, Neuroimaging and Animal Models. Scientific presentations throughout the meeting addressed topics in the areas of early diagnosis/detection, diagnostic assessments, interventions, services, early development, brain structure and neurophysiology, cognition/perception, genetics, biomedical issues and repetitive behaviors. IMFAR conference highlights will be presented as additional reports in upcoming Connections.
This year's meeting had its highest attendance ever with 936 scientists from around the world. There were 21 presentations by Cure Autism Now grant recipients as well as 27 presentations regarding research done using data from CAN's Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE). In addition, representatives from CAN's Science Program and AGRE were on hand to promote CAN's funding opportunities and biomaterials database to the assembled group of international autism researchers.
Originally conceived of by Portia Iversen, co-founder of Cure Autism Now, and Douglas Compton, Scientific Review Council Executive Committee Member, IMFAR was convened for the first time in November 2001 as a joint effort by Cure Autism Now, the MIND Institute, and the National Alliance for Autism Research. Cure Autism Now continues to provide a yearly sponsorship to support IMFAR, and provides autism researchers with one of the best venues to share the rapidly-moving scientific investigation of autism. Cure Autism Now Science Director, Sophia Colamarino, Ph.D. currently serves on the IMFAR Scientific Program Committee. Dr. Colamarino is also a board member of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR), which now organizes and oversees the IMFAR conference.
More details about IMFAR and the entire conference abstract book can be downloaded at