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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 Statesort icon Grant Year
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  
Molecular and Environmental Influences on Autism Pathophysiology University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles CA 2007  
Dissemination of Early Life Exposure Assessment Tool (ELEAT) University of California, Davis Davis CA 2013  
Immunobiology in Autism University of California, Davis Davis CA 2007  
Evaluation of the immune and physiologic response in children with autism following immune challenge. University of California, Davis Davis CA 2009  
The role of neuroinflammation in ASD-related behaviors, hyper-excitability and epilepsy University of Colorado, Boulder Boulder CO 2010  
Is autoimmunity involved in pathogenesis of autism? Yale University New Haven CT 2006  
Effect of non-stereo anti-inflammation drugs on neuronal migration Yale University New Haven CT 2006  
Vaccination with regression study Kaiser Permanente, Center for Health Research-Southeast Atlanta GA 2009  
Maternal risk factors for autism in the Nurses Health Study II - pilot study Harvard University Cambridge MA 2007  
PET/MRI investigation of neuroinflammation in autism spectrum disorders Massachusetts General Hospital Boston MA 2014  
Maternal dietary factors and risk of autism spectrum disorders Massachusetts General Hospital Boston MA 2007  
Influence of Oxidative Stress on Transcription and Alternative Splicing of Methionine Synthase in Autism Northeastern University Boston MA 2008  
Exploring the epigenetics of twins with autism Johns Hopkins University Baltimore MD 2006  
Genome-wide examination of DNA methylation in autism Johns Hopkins University Baltimore MD 2011  
Neuroinflammation, the kynurenine pathway, and autism University of Maryland, College Park College Park MD 2006  
Community-based Study of Autism Spectrum Disorders Among 7-9 y Old Children in Rural Bangladesh Johns Hopkins University Baltimore MD 2012  
Parental Exposures to Occupational Asthmagens and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders Johns Hopkins University Baltimore MD 2013