Tuesday, September 4, 2012
The National Institutes of Health has announced grant awards of $100 million over five years for the Autism Centers of Excellence (ACE) research program, which will feature projects investigating sex differences in autism spectrum disorders, or ASD, and investigating ASD and limited speech.
The disorders are complex developmental disorders that affect how a person behaves, interacts with others, communicates and learns. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ASD affects approximately 1 in 88 children in the United States.
NIH created the ACE Program in 2007 to launch an intense and coordinated research program into the causes of ASD and to find new treatments.
"The ACE program allows NIH institutes to leverage their resources to support the large collaborative efforts needed to advance the broad research goals of the Interagency Coordinating Committee Strategic Plan for ASD research," said Alice Kau, Ph.D., of the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Branch at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), one of five institutes funding the ACE program. "This year, the program has expanded to such areas as children and adults who have limited, or no speech, possible links between ASD and other genetic syndromes, potential treatments and the possible reasons why ASD are more common among boys than girls."
In addition to the NICHD, the NIH institutes that support the ACE program are the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
The nine awards for 2012 will support research at individual centers or at research networks, which involve multiple institutions, dedicated to the study of ASD.
Grants were awarded to research teams led by the following investigators:
2012 Center Grants
2012 Network Grants
Additional information about ASD is available at http://health.nih.gov/topic/Autism.
About the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD): The NICHD sponsors research on development, before and after birth; maternal, child, and family health; reproductive biology and population issues; and medical rehabilitation. For more information, visit the Institute's website at http://www.nichd.nih.gov/.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.