Regular readers of e-Speaks are familiar with the Autism Speaks-funded Interactive Autism Network (IAN) at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Md. A unique combination of an online registry and a social network, IAN has brought the community together in an unprecedented
way since it was launched in April 2007 by collecting and sharing information that both support families and fuel research (for the most recent article about IAN community data,
In December 2008, Autism Speaks board of directors approved $2.2 million over the next two years to support IAN's continuing development. Since its launch, IAN Research has registered over 28,000 participants, including over 10,000 individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, their parents and guardians, and their siblings. IAN Community has also emerged as a thriving online destination. In addition to reporting community data collected to the families and at international conferences like IMFAR, the IAN team collaborated with other investigators on original research projects as well as assisted in subject recruitment for over 140 studies to date.
Over the next two years, IAN proposes to increase the number of its registrants, expand research-related services (including study recruitment and knowledge dissemination), enhance scientific interactions and collaboration and expand its revenue base.