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Calls to Action

Georgetown University

Molecular Studies in Autism

Huda Zoghbi, M.D., Baylor College of Medicine (Genius Award)
The funds received through the Cure Autism Now Genius Award will allow us to explore new approaches to identify some of the molecular genetic pathways involved in autism. Our strategy will focus on the following hypothesis: Genes that are key in mediating prominent phenotypes seen in autistic patients are likely to be mutated, at least, in a subset of autism patients. A two-pronged approach will be taken to hone in on the most promising candidate pathways.

In 2005, NAAR committed $8.3 million to fund 41 pilot studies, 14 pre- and 7 post-doctoral fellowships as well as three large collaborative programs: the NAAR Autism Genome Project, the High Risk Baby Siblings Research Project and the Autism Tissue Program. In addition, NAAR's 2005 research commitments include the ongoing support of two interdisciplinary autism training programs that are being co-sponsored by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.