Funding for Autism Research Chair Announced

March 27, 2012

The federal government announced on March 27  its support for a research chair that will bring innovative approaches to the treatment and care of people with autism spectrum disorder.

NeuroDevNet joins the government and several other organizations in contributing financial support towards the $1 million over a five year period that will sustain the Chair in Autism Spectrum Disorders Treatment and Care Research Program.

Researchers working in Canada and those willing to relocate to a Canadian research Institution will be eligible to apply for the chair. Investigators not currently conducting autism research must demonstrate how they would bring new approaches to the treatment or care of individuals with autism.

Dr. Dan Goldowitz, NeuroDevNet's Scientific Director, joined the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, Parliamentary Secretary Dr. Colin Carrie, and MP Mike Lake at an event celebrating the announcement, which was hosted by Dr. Martin Osmond, CEO and Scientic Director of the CHEO Research Institute.

"Significant gaps exist in applied research that focuses on autism diagnosis, treatment and care," said Dr. Goldowitz. "We hope that this chair opportunity will attract interest from the best science minds across the globe, who see the potential that this position will provide in making a real difference in the lives of children, youth, adults and their families who live with autism every day."

An authoritative 2010 study suggests that 1 Canadian child in 110 is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, which is consistent with international findings, according to Dr. Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, principal investigator with NeuroDevNet's autism research group.

Funders of the new research chair include the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, in partnership with Autism Speaks Canada, the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance, Health Canada, NeuroDevNet, and the Sinneave Family Foundation.