£20 million donation to autism research in Edinburgh

£20 million donation to autism research in Edinburgh


Tuesday, 7 March, 2017

The Patrick Wild Centre for Research into Autism, Fragile X Syndrome & Intellectual Disabilities has been awarded a donation of £20 million from the Simons Foundation to establish the ‘Simons Initiative for the Developing Brain’.  This exciting new initiative will investigate the fundermental biological mechanisms that underpin changes in brain development linked with autism, drawing on expertise from across the university.

Centre director Prof Peter Kind: "This is an amazing opportunity to bring together a range of scientific and clinical expertise at the university with the aim of understanding how the brain develops on multiple levels, including molecular biology, neural circuitry, genetics, behaviour and cognition. By combining these approaches, we will learn how a healthy brain matures and gain valuable insights into the developmental origins of autism. Using this knowledge, we aim to deliver new diagnostic tools, better therapeutics and new interventions to the clinic that will address the causes and consequences of autism."

Louis F Reichardt, director of the Simons Foundation autism research initiative: "We hope the foundation's support will enable them to apply these types of studies to other conditions on the autism spectrum."

Foundation chairman Jim Simons: "We are confident that the great scientists already in place, coupled with the comprehensive facility being developed, will accelerate understanding of autism and hasten the development of meaningful treatments."