UCLA Awarded $10M Grant To Study Autism In African Americans

The National Institutes of Health awarded UCLA a grant to study the genetic causes of autism in African-American children.  Areva Martin of the Special Needs Network says “there’s a void” of qualified health care officials to make the diagnosis in communities like South LA.  The study hopes to change that, and aims to recruit at least 600 African-American families who have a child diagnosed with autism.

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Dr. Daniel Geschwind, director of the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment, was rewarded a five-year, $10 million grant to continue his research on the genetic causes of autism spectrum disorders and to expand his investigations to include the genetics of autism in African Americans.

The new network grant, which will fund collaborative work by Geschwind and experts at other autism centers around the country, is part of the NIH’s Autism Centers of Excellence program, which was launched in 2007 to support coordinated research into the causes of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and the discovery of new treatments.