Strategic Plan Objective Detail
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Question 4: Short-term Objective B  

$20,162,709.18
Fiscal Year: 2009

Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding.4SB. Standardize and validate at least 20 model systems (e.g., cellular and/or animal) that replicate features of ASD and will allow identification of specific molecular targets or neural circuits amenable to existing or new interventions by 2012. IACC Recommended Budget: $75,000,000 over 5 years.

Download 2009 Question 4: Short-term Objective B projects (EXCEL)
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Project Title Principal Investigator Institution
Functional analysis of neurexin IV in Drosophila Zipursky, Larry University of California, Los Angeles
Analysis of cortical circuits related to ASD gene candidates Zador, Anthony Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Neural mechanisms of social cognition and bonding Young, Larry Emory University
Central vasopressin receptors and affiliation Young, Larry Emory University
Central vasopressin receptors and affiliation Young, Larry Emory University
Vasopressin receptors and social attachment Young, Larry Emory University
Development of genomic resources for prairie voles Young, Larry Emory University
Genomic resources for identifying genes regulating social behavior Young, Larry Emory University
Dynamic regulation of Shank3 and ASD Worley, Paul Johns Hopkins University
CNTNAP2 in a behavioral model of autism White, Stephanie University of California, Los Angeles
Mouse genetic model of a dysregulated serotonin transporter variant associated with autism Veenstra-Vanderweele, Jeremy Vanderbilt University
Integrated approach to the neurobiology of autism spectrum disorders Vaccarino, Flora Yale University
Regulation of synaptogenesis by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 Tsai, Li-Huei Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Characterization of the transcriptome in an emerging model for social behavior Thomas, James Emory University
Neural and cognitive mechanisms of autism Sur, Mriganka Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Function and dysfunction of neuroligins Sudhof, Thomas Stanford University
Studies on protein synthesis and long-term adaptive responses in the CNS Smith, Carolyn National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Using zebrafish and chemical screening to define function of autism genes Sive, Hazel Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
Mice lacking Shank postsynaptic scaffolds as an animal model of autism Sheng, Morgan Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dissecting the neural control of social attachment Shah, Nirao University of California, San Francisco
Perturbed activity-dependent plasticity mechanisms in autism Sabatini, Bernardo Harvard Medical School
Caspr2 dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders Robbins, Elissa Yale University
A novel cell-based assay for autism research and drug discovery Restifo, Linda University of Arizona
Role of a novel Wnt pathway in autism spectrum disorders Reichardt, Louis University of California, San Francisco
Role of Wnt signaling in forebrain development, synaptic physiology, and mouse behavior Reichardt, Louis University of California, San Francisco

Objective Cumulative Funding Table

IACC Strategic Plan Objective 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Total
Standardize and validate at least 20 model systems (e.g., cellular and/or animal) that replicate features of ASD and will allow identification of specific molecular targets or neural circuits amenable to existing or new interventions by 2012.

IACC Recommended Budget: $75,000,000 over 5 years
4.5
$15,879,827
42 projects

4.S.B
$20,162,709
70 projects

4.S.B
$23,229,501
92 projects

4.S.B
$21,606,118
89 projects

4.S.B
$21,232,514
94 projects

$102,110,669
4.S.B. Funding: The recommended budget was met. Significantly more than the recommended minimum budget was allocated to projects specific to this objective.

Progress: More than 90 projects were supported to develop animal models.

Remaining Gaps, Needs, and Opportunities: Planning Group members discussed whether the amount of investment in this area is appropriate when compared to investments in clinical trials and other later stage studies. Invited experts suggested that the current stage of scientific research in ASD requires pre-clinical research to identify targets from animal and cellular models. Similar to cancer treatment development pathways, which spanned 20-30 years, research in ASD must invest in model systems to understand the fundamental biology from which translation to the clinic can be built. The translational validity of research in non-human animals cannot be determined until human trials are conducted, thus the need for rapid progress to clinical studies in humans is important.