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Autism Speaks Science@Work: Meet our research fellows

Introducing a new blog series featuring our predoctoral and postdoctoral research fellows and their groundbreaking research projects

By Mathew Pletcher, Autism Speaks’ interim chief science officer

It’s my pleasure to introduce a new blog series profiling Autism Speaks research fellows and their innovative research projects. We’ve invited our Weatherstone predoctoral fellows and our Meixner postdoctoral fellows to share their first-hand accounts of their studies, many of which involve clinical trials aimed at directly helping men, women and children from across the autism spectrum.

From the very start of our organization, we at Autism Speaks have understood that we must transform the field of autism research if we are going to deliver the resources and answers our community so desperately needs.

Over the last ten years, we’ve invested more than $200 million into cutting-edge research, made possible by our donors, volunteers and families. At the same time, we realize that autism research will only be as good as the smart and creative scientists we entrust with this funding.

That’s why – year after year – we set aside a significant portion of our research funds to support the training of researchers just beginning their careers through our highly competitive Predoctoral Weatherstone Fellowships and our Meixner Postdoctoral Fellowships in Translational Research.

We are growing the next generation of autism researchers at the same time as we are enabling them to pursue transformative research projects today.

We hope you will enjoy reading about our fellows’ work. I am already excited by the new ideas and conversations that this series is sure to spark.

Look for our fellows' posts Tuesdays, alternating with posts from our Autism Treatment Network, starting today with Sarah Slocum’s important insights on de-escalating dangerous autism-related behaviors, here.

Editor's note: Of course, this isn't the first time we're reporting on our research fellows' ground-breaking work. You may find the following archived news stories and blog posts of particular interest: 

* Easing anxiety in kids with autism and limited verbal skills

* Helping nonverbal children with autism learn to speak

* New evidence links immune irregularities to autism

* Pivotal Response Training may improve brain responses to social cues

* Research on girls provides insights into severe autism

* Genes, older dads and autism

* Why autism risk rises with mom's age: Study may shed light

* Remote coaching helps parents deliver autism therapies


The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.