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Calls to Action

2002 Research Awards (NAAR)

In 2002, NAAR continued to drive the autism research movement and elevate the science more than any other autism organization, committing approximately $4 million to fund 22 pilot studies in autism research taking place in the U.S., England, Italy and Germany; three larger, collaborative programs in the U.S., Canada and England and 12 mentor-based fellowships in the U.S. and England. Also in 2002, NAAR played a key role in funding and presenting the first Canadian Autism Research Workshop, designed to enhance and increase autism research efforts in Canada.


Schahram Akbarian, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worchester, MA
Chromatin-Remodeling in Developing Prefrontal Cortex Implications for Autism
Two-year award - $120,000

Gillian Baird
St. Thomas Hospital HNS & Guy's Hospital, London, England
Is there Evidence of Antibodies Against Neural Tissue In Children with Autism?
Two-year award - $106,629
Research Partner: Solving the Mystery of Autism Foundation

Pradeep G. Bhide, Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA
Dopamine & Brain Development: Implications for Autism Spectrum Disorders
Two-year award - $120,000
Research Partner: Richard & Susan Smith Family Foundation

C. Susan Carter, Ph.D.
University of Illinois – Chicago, Chicago, IL
Oxytocin & Autism: An Animal Model
Two-year award - $120,000
Research Partner: Friends of Autism

Anna Dunaevsky, Ph.D.
Brown University, Providence, RI
Synaptogenesis in Cerebellar Purkinje Cells of Normal & FMR1 Knockout Mice
Two-year award - $120,000
Research Partner: FRAXA Research Foundation

Judith K. Grether, Ph.D.
California Department of Health Services – Environmental Health Investigations, Oakland, CA Epidemiology of Autism in Multiple Births
Two-year award - $119,998
Research Partner: Autism Coalition for Research & Education

Martha R. Herbert, M.D., Ph.D.
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
Neuroimaging of Young Children at High Risk for Autism
Two-year award - $119,280
Research Partner: Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation

Yong-hui Jiang, M.D.
Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
Epigenetics Alterations & Autism Susceptibility
Two-year award - $119,350

Flavio Keller, M.D. Liberia
Universita, Rome, Italy
Reelin as a Target of Interaction between Genotype & Environment in Autistic Disorder
Two-year award - $103,800

David E. Mandelbaum, M.D., Ph.D.
UMDNJ – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ
A Longitudinal Analysis of the Neurological Findings in Children with Autism, with High or Low IQ, and Comparisons to Non-Autistic Children with Developmental Language Disorder and Mental Retardation
One-year award - $34,210
Research Partner: Autism Coalition for Research & Education

L. Alison McInnes, M.D.
Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
A Population Genetic Study of Autism in Andalusia, Spain
One-year award - $57,993

Letitia R. Naigles, Ph.D.
University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
The Development of Language Comprehension in Children with Autism: A Longitudinal Study Using the Intermodal Preferential Looking Program
Two-year award: $119,987
Research Partner: Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation

Dennis D.M. O'Leary, Ph.D.
Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA
Molecular Control of Inferior Olive Development – A Step Towards Understanding the Neuropathology of Autism
Two-year award - $120,000
Research Partner: Autism Coalition for Research & Education

Opal Ousley, Ph.D. & Lisa A. Parr, Ph.D.
Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
Physiological Responsiveness to Social Interaction in Young Children with Autism
Two-year award - $90,725

David L. Pauls, Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA
A Genetic Study of High-Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome in Finland
Two-year award - $120,000
Research Partner: In Memory of Lisa Fenn Gordenstein

Nicholas Ponzio, Ph.D.
UMDNJ – New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ
Contribution of Immunological Mechanisms to Autism Spectrum Disorders
Two-year award - $118,800
This project is dedicated in memory of Dr. Don C. Wiley

Hugo Theoret, Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School/Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA
Motor Output & Mirror Cell Systems in Autism Studied by Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Two-year award - $116,401
Research Partner: Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation

Poul Thorsen, M.D., Ph.D.
Aarhus University, Denmark
Risk Factors for Neurodevelopmental Disorders: MMR Vaccine & Childhood
Two-year award - $80,300

Chandan J. Vaidya, Ph.D.
Children's National Medical Center/Children's Research Institute, Washington, D.C.
Using Functional MRI to Examine Social & Non-social Attention Regulation in Autism
Two-year award - $97,792

Christoph Schmitz, M.D.
RWTH University at Aachen, Aachen, Germany
Quantitative Analysis of Histologic Alterations in Cerebral Cortex, Cerebellum & Brainstem in Autism
Two-year award: $98,700

Jerzy Wegiel, VMD, Ph.D.
New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Staten Island, NY
Clinicopathological Correlations in Autism
Two-year award - $120,000

Stephanie A. White, Ph.D.
University of California – Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Inside & Outside the Critical Period: Neural Substrates for Vocal Learning
Two-year award - $120,000