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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)

Titlesort icon Institution City State Grant Year
A novel cell-based assay for autism research and drug discovery University of Arizona Tucson AZ 2008  
Air pollution, MET genotype and ASD risk: GxE Interaction in the EMA Study Kaiser Permanente Oakland CA 2012  
Analysis of developmental interactions between Reelin haploinsufficiency, male sex, and mercury exposure University Campus Bio-Medico of Roma Rome 2008  
Anti-Neuronal Autoantibodies in PANDAS and Autism Spectrum Disorders University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Oklahoma City OK 2013  
Assisted Reproductive Treatments and Risk of Autism King's College London London 2008  
Augmentation of CA CADDRE Studies Kaiser Permanente Oakland CA 2007  
Community-based Study of Autism Spectrum Disorders Among 7-9 y Old Children in Rural Bangladesh Johns Hopkins University Baltimore MD 2012  
Concluding Follow-up of Families Enrolled in the EARLI Cohort Drexel University Philadelphia PA 2014  
Consequences of Maternal Antigen Exposure on Offspring Immunity: An Animal Model of Vertical Tolerance Fox Chase Cancer Center Philadelphia PA 2007  
Differential Effects of Thimerosal on Cell Division and Apoptosis in Normal vs Autism Spectrum Disorder Cell Lines The Methodist Hospital Research Institute Houston TX 2008  
Dissemination of Early Life Exposure Assessment Tool (ELEAT) University of California, Davis Davis CA 2013  
Early Biologic Markers for Autism Kaiser Permanente Oakland CA 2008  
Early developmental risk factors for autism in a national birth cohort Turku University Turku 2007  
Early Exposure to Acetaminophen and Autism University of California, Davis Davis CA 2010  
Early life environmental exposures and autism in an existing Swedish birth cohort Drexel University Philadelphia PA 2011  
Effect of non-stereo anti-inflammation drugs on neuronal migration Yale University New Haven CT 2006  
Effect of oxytocin receptor inhibitor (Atosiban) during the perinatal period and prevalence of autism spectrum disorders Hebrew University Jerusalem 2008  
Environmental Exposures Measured in Deciduous Teeth as Potential Biomarkers for Autism Risk University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio San Antonio TX 2012  
Epigenetics, hormones and sex differences in autism incidence University of Virginia Charlottesville VA 2008  
Ethics of Communicating Scientific Findings on Autism Risk Drexel University Philadelphia PA 2008  
Etiology of Autism Risk Involving MET Gene and the Environment University of California, Davis Davis CA 2008  
Evaluation of the immune and physiologic response in children with autism following immune challenge. University of California, Davis Davis CA 2009  
Exploring the epigenetics of twins with autism Johns Hopkins University Baltimore MD 2006  
Folate receptor autoimmunity in Autism Spectrum Disorders State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center Brooklyn NY 2012  
Genetic and epigenetic interactions in a mouse model for autism University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles CA 2008