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Funding News - Applications for Autism Research Centers of Excellence Requested

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The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) request applications for Centers of Excellence in Autism Research.* The objective of this request for applications (RFA) is to establish several research centers, each of which will bring together expertise, infrastructure, and resources focused on major questions about autism. The centers will address research issues such as causes, diagnosis, early detection, prevention, and treatment, including approaches such as developmental neurobiology, genetics, and psychopharmacology. Examples of potential areas of research include: development of new or improved treatments in behavioral/psychological, pharmacological, and other biological modalities; development of methods for early diagnosis and screening, including biological and behavioral indices for early detection; investigation of neural bases and pathways for abnormal behaviors; investigation of potential environmental etiologies and risk factors including prenatal events, infections, toxic exposures, and immunizations; description and characterization of co-morbidities and how they relate to etiology, pathology, and prevention; neuroimaging investigations using functional magnetic resonance imaging, brain mapping, other new technologies to determine neuroanatomic and localized functional abnormalities and how they change over time; genetic studies including gene-environment interactions, candidate genes, and genotype-phenotype correlations; studies of language and disorders of communication; interventional, descriptive, and neuroimaging studies that utilize a related comparison group such as fragile X syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, mental retardation, tuberous sclerosis, and Williams syndrome; and development of novel animal models. APPLICATION RECEIPT DATE: November 29, 2001. For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. Deborah Hirtz, Program Director, Clinical Trials Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2212, Bethesda, MD 20892; telephone: (301) 496-5821; fax: (301) 480-1080; e-mail: dh83f@nih.gov.

*For a more detailed description of this RFA, please visit the NIH web site at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-MH-02-001.html.