FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 18, 2002
Constance Burr or Marilyn Weeks
NIMH Press Office
NIH Awards Grants for Two New Autism Research Centers
- Eye Tracking Studies of Social Engagement
- Gaze Processing in Young Children with Autism
- Roots of Social Communication: Auditory Preferences
- Behavioral and Neural Plasticity in Face Recognition
- Fluvoxamine in Children and Adolescents with Anxiety Disorders
Joseph Piven, M.D., and James Bodfish, Ph.D., at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (with sites at University of Iowa, Institute of Psychiatry - King’s College, and Duke University) for “Gene-Brain Behavior Relationships in Autism.” Research includes:
- The Neuropsychological Basis of the Broad Autism Phenotype
- Neuroimaging of Cognitive and Social Deficits in Autism
- Novel Approaches for Finding Genes in Autism
- Gene Dissection of Autism-Related Behaviors in Mice
- Developmental Psychopharmacology in Autism
Other funding for the STAART Centers program includes one-year developmental grants, which were already funded at six universities and research institutes to help research teams prepare applications for future centers.
The competition for the additional STAART Center sites is underway. The Children’s Health Act calls for a total of at least five centers, so at least three more will be selected in FY 2003. The research centers, along with a data coordination center and collaborative projects among the centers, will constitute the STAART program. Each center will contribute to the autism research base in the areas of causes, diagnosis, early detection, prevention, control, and treatment. Plans also include interaction with the Collaborative Programs of Excellence in Autism (CPEA), eight funded projects sponsored by the NICHD/NIDCD Network on the Neurobiology and Genetics of Autism.
NIMH is one of the 27 components that make up NIH, the Federal Government’s primary agency for biomedical and behavioral research. NIH is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.