Launched in 2006, SFARI is a scientific initiative within the Simons Foundation's suite of programs. SFARI’s mission is to improve the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders by funding innovative research of the highest quality and relevance.

In 2007, SFARI issued its first request for applications, its goal being to attract top researchers to the field of autism research. Today, with a budget of approximately $90 million per year, SFARI supports over 300 investigators. Since 2003, the Simons Foundation has provided or committed more than $570 million in external research support to more than 600 investigators in the U.S. and abroad.

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Image of Kelsey Martin

Kelsey C. Martin, M.D., Ph.D.

Executive Vice President, Autism and Neuroscience

Kelsey Martin joined the Simons Foundation in September 2021 and is the executive vice president of autism and neuroscience. She previously served as dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), chair of the UCLA Department of Biological Chemistry and professor in the UCLA Department of Biological Chemistry and the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences.


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