Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Research

The Stanford Autism Center at Packard Children’s Hospital supports a number of research efforts across the Stanford University campus to improve autism treatments and find what causes the condition, and discover a cure.
 
The Autism Working Group encourages Stanford autism researchers to collaborate and share knowledge with each other. It was co-founded by Richard Tsien, PhD, the co-director of the Neurosciences Institute at Stanford, and Carl Feinstein, MD, the Division Chief for Child Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Joachim Hallmayer, MD, is the Chair of the AWG, and Dr. Tsien is co-director.
 
The campus’s autism research efforts can be categorized as follows:

Category of research How it can help us understand ASD
Applied/clinical neurobiology research (imaging, genetics, hormone studies, etc., related to the brain and nervous system) These studies seek to understand the brain and nervous system-related biology (neurobiology) of ASD. Studying children with ASD, their siblings, and control children who do not have ASD will help understand what causes ASD.
Animal research  These studies seek to understand the brain and nervous system-related biology (neurobiology) of ASD. Studying children with ASD, their siblings, and control children who do not have ASD will help understand what causes ASD.
Applied clinical research (e.g., clinical trials, treatment outcomes) These studies help us to understand whether specific treatments work for children with ASD; for example, through behavioral change, or improved language or social functioning.

Participate in Autism Research
The research laboratories listed below conduct autism spectrum disorders (ASDs)-related research. If you are interested in enrolling your child in an autism-related research study at Stanford, you can enroll in the Autism Research Registry (see below), contact a laboratory below or view a list of current Child Psychiatry clinical trials.

Autism and Developmental Disabilities Research Registry. This registry allows researchers at Stanford to identify and recruit individuals who might be eligible for participation in future research studies. This registry was developed and is run by Dr. Antonio Hardan and his lab. An individual must have an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis and/or intellectual disability to participate. Please contact Meb Steiner at (650) 736-1235 or autismdd@stanford.edu for more information.
 
Research Registry for Typically Developing Individuals. Researchers are always in need of healthy children and adults to participate in research studies. Please contact Meb Steiner at (650) 736-1235 for more information.
 
Autism Research Program conducts a variety of ongoing research projects, including a twin MRI Study and drug trials. The program also runs studies investigating the neurobiology of autism, hormone levels, gastrointestinal abnormalities, cardiac conduction abnormalities and behavioral interventions. Please contact Robin Libove at (650) 736-1235 or autismdd@stanford.edu for more information.
 
The Stanford Brain Development Project is looking at how different parts of the brain talk to each other, and how the brain is wired in children with autism. Additionally, they are interested in studying how children with autism process and learn math, and how they process social information and language. Their studies collectively aim to understand brain processes that give rise to the unique characteristics and abilities of children with autism.

If you are interested in participating, please fill out a short registration form and we will contact you as soon as possible! Please contact Chuck Lynch, our research coordinator, at (650) 736-0056 or email us at braindevelopment@stanford.edu with additional questions.

Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research conducts a variety of ongoing research projects, including investigating the development of brain structure and function in children with autism, fragile X, and other genetic and developmental conditions.
 
Support for Research Projects
The Center uses part of the funds it raises to award grants to support research projects. The purpose of these research awards is to encourage and support translational research – applying what is learned through autism research to improve patient care.
 
The Mosbacher Autism Research Award will be awarded to projects that bridge the gap between research and patient care (“bench to bedside”), involve human subjects, or focus on the development of improved treatments or diagnostic procedures for autism spectrum disorders. The award amount is up to $40,000 for one year.