NEW YORK, N.Y. (December 21, 2009) Autism Speaks, the nations largest autism science and advocacy organization, applauds Congress for passage of the FY 2010 Department of Defense Appropriations bill, H.R. 3326, which contains $8 million for the DoD Autism Research Program (DoDARP). This is the fourth consecutive year that Congress has funded the DoDARP through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), for a total of $29.9 million ($7.5 million in FY 07, $6.4 million in FY 08, $8.0 million in FY 09, and $8.0 million for FY 2010).
The DoDARPs mission is to promote innovative research that advances the understanding of autism spectrum disorder and leads to improved outcomes. All CDMRPs involve community members to find and fund the best research to eradicate or treat diseases. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has been well represented on the DoDARPs Integration Panel (IP) which determines the vision and investment strategy for the funding. In FY 09, Gary Goldstein, M.D. Autism Speaks board member and president of the Kennedy Krieger Institute, chaired the IP and Peter Bell, Autism Speaks Executive Vice President for Programs & Services, served as vice-chair. In addition, Shelley Hendrix, Autism Speaks Director of State Advocacy Relations, has been a member of the IP for the last three years.
Now that the CDC has confirmed that autism affects one percent of American children, including those in military families, the need for a commitment from our legislators to fund research into the causes and cures for this disease has never been more paramount, said Peter Bell. We thank members of Congress for approving federal funding for autism research through the Department of Defense Autism Research Program and for giving hope to families across the country affected by autism.
The entire DoD Appropriations bill will now go to the President to be signed into law.
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