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Grants Related to Potential Environmental Factors in Autism

Autism Speaks is committed to facilitating research that will uncover the causes of autism and develop effective biomedical treatments. As part of this commitment, Autism Speaks has funded research projects that explore potential environmental factors in autism. For the years 2006-2011, Autism Speaks is funding $27,916,097 for environmental research.

These current grants build on previous commitments by the National Alliance for Autism Research, or NAAR, and Cure Autism Now. From 1997-2005, NAAR funded $2,164,888 in grants on environmental factors (click here for details) while from 2000-2005 Cure Autism Now funded $828,041 in such research (click here for details). The combined funding commitment to date on autism environmental sciences is $16,347,559.

Autism Speaks Support of Environmental Factors in Autism

This funding has included support for:

  • Pilot Studies
  • Basic and Clinical Research Studies
  • Fellowships and Young Investigator Awards
  • Special Projects
  • Augmentation and Bridge Awards
  • Environmental Innovative Award
  • The Interactive Autism Network (IAN)
  • Meetings and Conferences to promote research in environmental sciences

Topics of research include:

The direct role of toxicants and other environmental factors

Studies which indirectly assess toxicant exposure, or pathways in which environmental factors may act in the brain (for example, the immune system or the oxidative stress pathway)

Other areas of study of environmental factors:

  • Molecular biology and toxicology using animal and in-vitro models
  • Epidemiological studies in international territories, illustrating potential gene-environmental interactions
  • Assessment of environmental factors which are not considered toxicants (for example, diet and prenatal hormone levels)

Title Institution City State Grant Year
Concluding Follow-up of Families Enrolled in the EARLI Cohort Drexel University Philadelphia PA 2014  
PET/MRI investigation of neuroinflammation in autism spectrum disorders Massachusetts General Hospital Boston MA 2014  
Saint Louis University-The Knights of Columbus Child Development Center Saint Louis University St. Louis MO 2014  
Utilization of the Navigation Guide to Understand Environmental Exposures and Risk of ASD University of California, San Francisco San Francisco CA 2014  
Anti-Neuronal Autoantibodies in PANDAS and Autism Spectrum Disorders University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Oklahoma City OK 2013  
Dissemination of Early Life Exposure Assessment Tool (ELEAT) University of California, Davis Davis CA 2013  
Improving Environmental Risk Communication in Autism Spectrum Disorders Drexel University Philadelphia PA 2013  
Parental Exposures to Occupational Asthmagens and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders Johns Hopkins University Baltimore MD 2013  
Prenatal Androgen in Meconium and Early Autism Spectrum Disorder Related Neurodevelopmental Outcomes Drexel University Philadelphia PA 2013  
Air pollution, MET genotype and ASD risk: GxE Interaction in the EMA Study Kaiser Permanente Oakland CA 2012  
Community-based Study of Autism Spectrum Disorders Among 7-9 y Old Children in Rural Bangladesh Johns Hopkins University Baltimore MD 2012  
Environmental Exposures Measured in Deciduous Teeth as Potential Biomarkers for Autism Risk University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio San Antonio TX 2012  
Folate receptor autoimmunity in Autism Spectrum Disorders State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center Brooklyn NY 2012  
IL-1beta and IL1RAPL1: Gene-environment interactions regulating synapse density and function in ASD University of California, Davis Davis CA 2012  
Investigation of Transgenerational Neurodevelopmental Impacts of Gestational Pharmaceuticals Institute of Preventive Medicine at Frederiksberg Hospital Frederiksberg 2012  
Molecular analysis of gene-environment interactions in the intestines of children with autism Columbia University New York NY 2012  
Prenatal PBDE exposure and ASD-related developmental outcomes in the EARLI cohort Drexel University Philadelphia PA 2012  
UC Davis Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCEH) Bridge University of California, Davis Davis CA 2012  
Early life environmental exposures and autism in an existing Swedish birth cohort Drexel University Philadelphia PA 2011  
Genome-wide examination of DNA methylation in autism Johns Hopkins University Baltimore MD 2011  
Genomic Influences on Development and Outcomes in Infants at Risk of ASD University of Alberta Edmonton AB 2011  
Gestational Exposure Questionnaire Validation and Feasibility Study University of California, Davis Davis CA 2011  
Perinatal Exposure to Airborne Pollutants and Associations with Autism Phenotype University of Southern California Los Angeles CA 2011  
TMLHE deficiency and a carnitine hypothesis for autism Baylor College of Medicine Houston TX 2011  
Early Exposure to Acetaminophen and Autism University of California, Davis Davis CA 2010