Autism Center of Excellence (ACE)

Interdisciplinary Studies of Insistence on Sameness (IS) in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) 

With a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development of NIH, the UIC ACE focuses on an interdisciplinary, translational program of research, from gene to biochemistry to neurophysiology to behavior. Specifically, our group is investigating the pathophysiology and treatment of insistence on sameness in autism. Over 250 families are expected to participate by the end of the current period of support in the summer of 2012.

Three projects are included in the ACE: 

  • Project I: Genetics of Serotonin in Autism: Neurochemical and Clinical Endophenotypes, studies genetics of autism with an emphasis on the relationship between genetic variants and clinical endophenotypes.
  • In Project II: Translational Studies of Cognitive, Affective and Neurochemical Processes Underlying Insistence on Sameness in Autism, studies neurocognitive and neuroimaging in subjects with autism and parallel studies in mice.
  • Project III: The Pharmacogenetics of Treatment for Insistence on Sameness in Autism studies the relationship between genetic variants and response to escitalopram treatment of insistence on sameness-related irritability/anxiety in ASD.
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