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In 1997, NAAR awarded its first research grants, committing approximately $150,000 to fund five pilot studies in autism research taking place in throughout the United States.

Barry Gordon, M.D., Ph.D.
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
"Training of Speech Perception and Speech Comprehension in Autistic Children: A Combined Behavioral-Neurophysiological Pilot Study."
Award Amount: $30,000

In 1998, NAAR committed approximately $500,000 in its second year of funding autism research projects and marked the establishment of NAAR's Mentor-based fellowship program. In 1998, NAAR funded 10 pilot studies and 2 mentor-based fellowships in the United States and Canada. Additionally, NAAR was instrumental in funding and establishing the Autism Tissue Program in 1998, a brain tissue donation program dedicated to autism research. NAAR also attracted its first Research Partners and Research Patrons in 1998, which are listed below.

Cure Autism Now funded a variety of science programs designed to encourage innovative approaches toward identifying the causes, developing means of prevention and treatment and ultimately, finding a cure for autism and related disorders.

Field-building research grants were a core feature of Cure Autism Now's science program: Pilot Project, Young Investigator, Treatment, and Innovative Technology in Autism grants were born out of the necessity to stimulate novel research and entice investigators to join the fight to understand autism.