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Spectrum: Autism Research News

SFN blows into Windy City

by  /  16 October 2009

This article is more than five years old. Autism research — and science in general — is constantly evolving, so older articles may contain information or theories that have been reevaluated since their original publication date.


It’s that time of year again — fall foliage, plump pumpkins and, if you’re a neuroscientist, the mad, mobbed scenes at the Society for Neuroscience (SFN) annual meeting.

SFN meetings are enormous — the participant mark crossed 30,000 a couple of years ago — so it’s impossible to attend, let alone absorb, more than a teeny fraction of what’s presented. But if you’re interested in autism research, you’re in luck: we’re here to make your task a little bit easier.

We’ve scoured the abstracts — so many, there’s a separate thick program book for each day — and found those most relevant to autism, schizophrenia and related disorders. Each day, we will have news and video interviews with some of the best minds in the field.

Autism is finally beginning to get the attention it deserves. When President Barack Obama in September announced a $5 billion boost for medical research, he pinpointed just three areas: cancer, heart disease and autism. The $85 million he promised is the largest-ever for autism research.

The SFN program underscores this urgency. If you’d like to know what your colleagues are finding about the latest animal models, genetic candidates and synaptic abnormalities, please tune in. For a taste of what’s to come, you can also sample our coverage from last year’s meeting.

TAGS:   SFN 2009, autism, cancer, policy