SPARK: Research matching program launched

SPARK participants

We are pleased to announce that SPARK has launched its research matching program, through which researchers can apply to recruit members of the SPARK cohort into new research studies.

Over 20,000 individuals with autism and their family members have enrolled in SPARK since it launched nationally in April 2016. When participants sign the SPARK consent, they agree to be contacted about new research opportunities as part of SPARK’s goal of advancing autism research.

Researchers can submit an application via SFARI Base to recruit SPARK participants into their studies. After committee review, approved researchers will receive further information about how to contact SPARK families.

“This is an exciting opportunity for researchers and families to connect and work together to answer important questions,” says Pamela Feliciano, scientific director of SPARK and senior scientist at SFARI.

Adds Wendy Chung, SPARK’s principal investigator and director of clinical research at SFARI, “By facilitating study recruitment, we hope to help catalyze autism research and improve lives.”

The first phenotypic data from the SPARK cohort were released in May 2017, and genetic data will be available starting in fall 2017. Researchers will be able to link SPARK data to their new research study data as part of the recruitment process.

The SPARK Recruitment Process Document provides answers to many frequently asked questions about the research matching program.

For more information, please contact [email protected].

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