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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 Citysort icon State Grant Year
Anti-Neuronal Autoantibodies in PANDAS and Autism Spectrum Disorders University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Oklahoma City OK 2013  
Multi-Registry Analyses - Norway Norwegian Institute of Public Health Oslo 2008  
Role of Cytokines in Mediating the Effects of Maternal Immune Activation on the Fetal Brain California Institute of Technology Pasadena CA 2006  
Multi-Registry Analyses - Western Australia University of Western Australia Perth 2008  
Early life environmental exposures and autism in an existing Swedish birth cohort Drexel University Philadelphia PA 2011  
Concluding Follow-up of Families Enrolled in the EARLI Cohort Drexel University Philadelphia PA 2014  
Improving Environmental Risk Communication in Autism Spectrum Disorders Drexel University Philadelphia PA 2013  
Prenatal PBDE exposure and ASD-related developmental outcomes in the EARLI cohort Drexel University Philadelphia PA 2012  
IBIS-EARLI Collaboration Drexel University Philadelphia PA 2008  
Prenatal Androgen in Meconium and Early Autism Spectrum Disorder Related Neurodevelopmental Outcomes Drexel University Philadelphia PA 2013  
Consequences of Maternal Antigen Exposure on Offspring Immunity: An Animal Model of Vertical Tolerance Fox Chase Cancer Center Philadelphia PA 2007  
Ethics of Communicating Scientific Findings on Autism Risk Drexel University Philadelphia PA 2008  
Modulation of glutamate receptor trafficking in autism: role of MHC class I Princeton University Princeton NJ 2006  
Vulnerability phenotypes and susceptibility to environmental toxicants: from organism to mechanism University of Rochester Rochester NY 2008  
Analysis of developmental interactions between Reelin haploinsufficiency, male sex, and mercury exposure University Campus Bio-Medico of Roma Rome 2008  
Vertical viral transmission as a frequent cause of autism University Campus Bio-Medico of Roma Rome 2010  
Environmental Exposures Measured in Deciduous Teeth as Potential Biomarkers for Autism Risk University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio San Antonio TX 2012  
Utilization of the Navigation Guide to Understand Environmental Exposures and Risk of ASD University of California, San Francisco San Francisco CA 2014  
Saint Louis University-The Knights of Columbus Child Development Center Saint Louis University St. Louis MO 2014  
Maternal Infection and Autism: Impact of Placental Sufficiency and Maternal Inflammatory Responses on Fetal Brain Development Stanford University Stanford CA 2008  
Oxidative Stress and Immune Response in Autism Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities Staten Island NY 2007  
Multi-Registry Analyses - Sweden Karolinska Institutet Stockholm 2008  
Multi-Registry Analyses - Israel Sheba Medical Center Tel Hashomer 2008  
A novel cell-based assay for autism research and drug discovery University of Arizona Tucson AZ 2008  
Multi-Registry Analyses - Finland Turku University Turku 2008