Skip navigation

Calls to Action

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 Statesort icon Grant Year
Investigation of Transgenerational Neurodevelopmental Impacts of Gestational Pharmaceuticals Institute of Preventive Medicine at Frederiksberg Hospital Frederiksberg 2012  
Assisted Reproductive Treatments and Risk of Autism King's College London London 2008  
Analysis of developmental interactions between Reelin haploinsufficiency, male sex, and mercury exposure University Campus Bio-Medico of Roma Rome 2008  
Multi-Registry Analyses - Israel Sheba Medical Center Tel Hashomer 2008  
Multi-Registry Analyses - Western Australia University of Western Australia Perth 2008  
Effect of oxytocin receptor inhibitor (Atosiban) during the perinatal period and prevalence of autism spectrum disorders Hebrew University Jerusalem 2008  
Vertical viral transmission as a frequent cause of autism University Campus Bio-Medico of Roma Rome 2010  
Teratogen induced ASD and brainstem development National Institute for Medical Research London 2006  
Multi-Registry Analyses - Norway Norwegian Institute of Public Health Oslo 2008  
Multi-Registry Analyses - Finland Turku University Turku 2008  
Parents and professionals attitudes to dietary interventions in ASD (PADIA) Newcastle University Newcastle upon Tyne 2008  
Multi-Registry Analyses - Sweden Karolinska Institutet Stockholm 2008  
Early developmental risk factors for autism in a national birth cohort Turku University Turku 2007  
Multi-Registry Analyses - Denmark University of Aarhus Aarhus 2008  
Genomic Influences on Development and Outcomes in Infants at Risk of ASD University of Alberta Edmonton AB 2011  
A novel cell-based assay for autism research and drug discovery University of Arizona Tucson AZ 2008  
Perinatal Exposure to Airborne Pollutants and Associations with Autism Phenotype University of Southern California Los Angeles CA 2011  
Role of Cytokines in Mediating the Effects of Maternal Immune Activation on the Fetal Brain California Institute of Technology Pasadena CA 2006  
Augmentation of CA CADDRE Studies Kaiser Permanente Oakland CA 2007  
Utilization of the Navigation Guide to Understand Environmental Exposures and Risk of ASD University of California, San Francisco San Francisco CA 2014  
Air pollution, MET genotype and ASD risk: GxE Interaction in the EMA Study Kaiser Permanente Oakland CA 2012  
Genetic and epigenetic interactions in a mouse model for autism University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles CA 2008  
Maternal Infection and Autism: Impact of Placental Sufficiency and Maternal Inflammatory Responses on Fetal Brain Development Stanford University Stanford CA 2008  
UC Davis Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCEH) Bridge University of California, Davis Davis CA 2012  
Immune molecules and cortical synaptogenesis: possible implications for the pathogenesis of autism University of California, Davis Davis CA 2007