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Funding News - Applications for Autism Centers of Excellence Encouraged

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The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) encourages applications for autism centers of excellence.  This announcement is made together with 4 other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is supported by 2 award mechanisms:  the traditional research project grant (R01) award and the NIH specialized centers of research (P50) award.*

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are complex neurodevelopmental disorders with early childhood onset.  ASD prevalence may be increasing and the disorders are more common than previously thought.  These disorders, for which there is presently no cure and only limited treatments, generally have lifelong effects.

Examples of potential research projects include, but are not limited to, studies to:  identify individual characteristics that predict response to behavioral, pharmacological, and other treatments; identify environmental factors that contribute to the development of autism and their associated developmental windows; identify the biological and/or behavioral markers to develop indices of risk for the development of autism in infants; find intervention methods for infants and toddlers developed to lower the age for which there are efficacious interventions; identify moderators and effective ingredients of early intervention treatments; examine subsequent pregnancies and infant siblings of children with autism to identify risk factors, broader phenotype, and early characterization of autism; explore innovative and newly developed intervention strategies to improve outcomes in school and community settings throughout the lifespan, including transitions; develop efficacious drug treatments that target core symptoms of autism; characterize the neuropathology of autism to identify impaired brain structures and functions; and identify susceptibility genes and animal models of autism for further study of phenotypic characteristics of autism.

LETTERS OF INTENT RECEIPT DATE:  July 11, 2006.

APPLICATION RECEIPT DATE:  August 11, 2006.

For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. Alice Kau, Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Branch, Center for Developmental Biology and Perinatal Medicine, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), 6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 4B09F, Bethesda, MD  20892; telephone:  301-496-1383; fax:  301-496-3791; e-mail:  kaua@mail.nih.gov.

*For a full list of supporting NIH components and a more detailed description of this announcement, please visit the NIH web site at:  http://grants2.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HD-06-004.html (R01) or http://grants2.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HD-06-004.html (P50).