Released: April 4, 2014

Autism Research Program
Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) Awards Recommended for Funding

The Autism Research Program (ARP) is pleased to announce that a total of 17 awards, representing 13 projects, have been recommended for funding for FY13*. These awards support the vision and mission of the ARP to promote innovative research that advances the understanding of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and leads to improved outcomes, improving the lives of individuals with ASD now.

Idea Development Awards
Highlighted Application: Improving Healthcare Transition Planning and Health-Related Independence for Youth with ASD and Their Families

Nancy Cheak-Zamora, University of Missouri, Columbia

Dr. Cheak-Zamora will work with caregivers and ASD youth to develop an outcome and transition scale to measure a successful transition to healthcare independence in key domains. This tool could then be used to help guide ASD individuals to understanding their health-care needs and achieving more independence during their transition to adulthood.
Highlighted Application: Precursor to the Development of Anxiety Disorders in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Geraldine Dawson, Duke University

Helen Egger, Duke University

Grace Baranek, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

The team led by Dr. Dawson will explore the relationship between sensory over-response and the development of anxiety in young children with ASD, in the hopes of discovering ways to identify and prevent anxiety in these individuals.
Highlighted Application: Proteomic Mapping of the Immune Response to Gluten in Children with Autism

Armin Alaedini, Columbia University

Dr. Alaedini plans to characterize the specificity of the immune response to gluten in individuals with ASD, which appears to be different from those suffering from celiac disease. This would increase the understanding of gluten sensitivity in ASD, and potentially identify biomarkers for affected individuals.
Brain Mechanisms of Affective Language Comprehension in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Donald Bolder, University of Maryland, College Park
Disruption of Trophic Inhibitory Signaling in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Anis Contractor, Northwestern University
Genetic and Diagnostic Biomarker Development in ASD Toddlers Using Resting State Functional MRI

Peter Fox, University of Texas, Health Science Center at San Antonio

Eric Courchesne, University of California, San Diego

David Glahn, Yale University
Maternal Brain-Reactive Antibodies and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Betty Diamond, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

Pilot Awards
Highlighted Application: Autism and Obesity: Co-Occurring Conditions or Drug Side Effects?

Zohreh Talebizadeh, Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics

Dr. Talebizadeh will leverage existing databases to determine whether obesity in autism is correlated to known genetic markers of antipsychotic-induced weight gain.
Highlighted Application: Mobile Device-Prompted Workplace Culture Analysis, Self-Efficacy, and Anxiety Reduction in the Transition to Independent Employment for Individuals with ASD

David Hagner, University of New Hampshire

Dr. Hagner will develop and test a downloadable app, based on a validated workplace culture analysis tool, to prompt the user to engage in socially acceptable behavior in the workplace. If successful, the app would be made available to the public for free.
Circadian Rhythms in Children with ASD and Their Infant Siblings

Marc Taylor, Naval Medical Research Center
Imaging Depression in Adults with ASD

Kenneth Gaddow, State University of New York, Stony Brook
Implicit Learning Abilities Predict Treatment Response in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Catherine Lord, Cornell University, Weill Medical College
Placental Identification and Immune Quantification of Acute and/or Chronic Inflammation in Children Diagnosed with Placental Autism in University and Community Hospitals

Carolyn Salafia, Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc., Staten Island

*Inclusion on the recommended for funding list is not intended to either confer a right to funding nor does it guarantee funding. Final award is contingent upon successful negotiations and applicable Federal policy.