A release from NIH:
The National Institutes of Health has awarded nine research grants totaling nearly $100 million over the next five years for the Autism Centers of Excellence (ACE), a program that supports large research projects aimed at understanding and developing interventions for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The ACE program was created in 2007 from the consolidation of previous programs. Grants have been awarded every five years, and 2017 marks the third cycle of ACE grants.
ASD is a complex neurological and developmental disorder that begins early in life and affects how a person acts, learns and interacts with others.
“Autism spectrum disorder has myriad environmental, genetic, neurological and behavioral components,” said Diana W. Bianchi, M.D., director of NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), 1 of 5 institutes funding the ACE program. “These awards will allow us to understand how autism differs in girls versus boys, to develop earlier methods of screening, and to improve treatments based on specific symptoms.”
In addition to NICHD, the NIH institutes that support ACE are the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
The ACE awards seek to build on discoveries of the last 10 years by supporting innovative, multi-disciplinary research that promises to yield interventions and services for people with ASD. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 68 children(link is external) has been diagnosed with the condition.
The awards will support research at individual centers or at research networks (which involve multiple institutions) dedicated to the study of ASD.