SFARI 2021 Director Awards announced

Five years old boy drawing at the psychotherapy session.

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The Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) is pleased to announce that seven Director Awards were awarded in 2021.

These projects include, but are not limited to, studies that aim to develop new tools and resources for autism research and studies whose goals are beyond the focus of existing SFARI request for applications (RFAs).

Some of these projects were SFARI- or investigator-initiated, while others were originally submitted through SFARI RFAs but were funded as Director Awards following review of their objectives, topic and merit.

“SFARI always strives to fund research that’s timely, innovative and transformative,” says SFARI director Kelsey Martin. “We believe these projects will yield new, important findings that will help advance our knowledge of autism and improve the methodologies used in autism research.”

The new Director Awards include:

Thomas Frazier, Ph.D. (John Carroll University)
Development and validation of an online webcam-based performance measurement battery for autism spectrum disorders

Vivek Kumar, Ph.D. (The Jackson Laboratory)
Long-term ethological monitoring of motor and social behavior deficits in mouse ASD models

Monkol Lek, Ph.D. (Yale University)
SFARI Browser

Stephan Sanders, B.M.B.S., Ph.D. (University of California, San Francisco) and Nenad Sestan, M.D., Ph.D. (Yale University)
Identification and validation of expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) in discrete cell types across human brain development

Rebecca Schmidt, Ph.D. (University of California, Davis)
Prenatal COVID-19 impact on autism risk in genetically susceptible families

A. B. Smit, Ph.D. (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
Annotation of the synaptic interactome and synaptic pathways relevant for ASD

Stephen Traynelis, Ph.D. (Emory University)
A registry for clinical and functional data for variants in the GRIN gene family

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