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Autism Science Foundation’s interviews with IMFAR researchers: David Mandell

Posted Jul 08 2010 1:23pm

INSAR , the International Society for Autism Research hosts the the largest autism research conference: IMFAR , the International Meeting for Autism Research. 1700 people attended, largely from the research community. The program book has nearly 50 pages of researchers. It’s big.

This year’s conference was held in Philadelphia in the United States. The people heading the organization of this year’s conference were Program Chairs David Mandell and Manny DiCicco-Bloom and Meeting Chairs, Jennifer Pinto-Martin and Susan Levy.

The Autism Science Foundation has a strong presence at the conference. They were sponsors of the conference and they held luncheons for the graduates students which the ASF is supporting. In addition, the ASF sponsored a number of stakeholders to attend the conference. One of these stakeholders, D’oC , blogged about the conference here on LeftBrainRightBrain.

The Autism Science Foundation took the opportunity to interview a number of the researchers at IMFAR. Those interviews are now up on YouTube. I thought I would blog some of these interviews. Given that Prof. Mandell was one of the Program Chairs and gave an overview of the conference, I decided to start with his interview:

Prof. Mandell discusses the new studies that are coming out. Amongst the subjects: how there is a shift to groups crossing regular boundaries of genetics, biology and behavior are related; how treatment research is moving beyond the randomized control trial methods targeting all autistic types to targeting subgroups; and how there is much research on young autistics in school settings. Groups are moving beyond the early genetics studies which merely identify “hot spots” in the genes to trying understand what the genes do. He gives the example where groups of autistics with the same genetic differences give similar results in how their brains work, as detected through functional MRI.

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