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New NIH funding for two Autism Centers of Excellence

April 2nd, 2013 by Mary Wood

A total of 11 centers now funded for up to five years

The National Institutes of Health has awarded $5.3 million in initial one-year funding to the latest two recipients of the Autism Centers of Excellence (ACE) program. With these awards, announced on World Autism Awareness Day, these and nine other ACE centers around the country are now being funded for up to five years. The program was created in 2007 to launch an intense and coordinated research effort aimed at identifying the causes of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and finding new treatments.

The new ACE awards will fund two research networks:

  • Sally J. Rogers, Ph.D., University of California, Davis MIND Institute. The UC Davis network will conduct multi-site randomized clinical trials to provide information on what effects the style of early intervention for young children with autism, and the intensity of treatment, have on children’s development.  A second study aims to determine whether toddlers who received early intervention in a previous clinical trial show long-term benefits from the intervention.  Centers participating with UC Davis are the McLean Hospital, Belmont, Mass.; the University of Washington, Seattle; and Vanderbilt University, Nashville
  • Daniel Geschwind, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles. The UCLA ACE will build on the network’s earlier work identifying genetic variants associated with autism susceptibility, with an important new emphasis: the network aims to recruit at least 600 African-American families with a child with an ASD.  The work will also include an evaluation of disparities in diagnosis and access to care. Scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City; Emory University, Atlanta; Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; Washington University, St. Louis; and Yale University, New Haven, Conn., will carry out this study with UCLA.

Distinguished NIMH Researcher Crawley to chair MIND Institute

January 9th, 2013 by Ferguson Mitchell

Jacqueline Crawley

Dr. Jacqueline “Jacki” Crawley will be taking the Robert E. Chason chair in translational research at the UC Davis MIND Institute. From NIH Record:

“Among the numerous honors Crawley has received over her career are the Distinguished Scientist Award of the International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society, the Marjorie A. Myers Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society and the Autism Awareness Day Keynote Award. She is looking forward to collaborating with clinical experts in autism research, allowing her to develop better models of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, with the ultimate goal of discovering effective therapeutics.”

Read more at the NIH Record.