The VT Center for Autism Research, under the College of Science, seeks to be a major force in promoting state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary research, both basic and applied, related to autism and associated neurodevelopmental conditions (referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorders, ASD). An ancillary aim is to support post-doctoral, graduate and undergraduate student training as it relates to promoting the research mission. Ultimately, we aim to use this research to improve the lives of people affected by autism.
The Center strives to become a nationally and internationally recognized autism research center focused on cutting-edge research that merges multiple disciplines to understand the assessment, etiology, development, treatment and public health impact of ASD. We are especially committed to research that will improve access to critical services in low resource communities.
Currently, the Center consists of over 40 faculty affiliates across the university, from departments as diverse as biological sciences, psychology, engineering, computer science, education, human development and more. We assist these researchers through establishing and maintaining a centralized research database of potential participants who are well-characterized with behavioral assessments. Through biennial conferences, outreach events and assistance with grant development, we facilitate interactions among scientists who wish to apply their work to ASD. Finally, we involve graduate and undergraduate students interested in conducting research in this field and welcome participation and input from the community.
Our affiliates provide training to graduate students in evidence-based ASD assessment and intervention approaches as well as brain imaging technology, eye-tracking methodology, genotyping and other emerging approaches that may advance this field. Post-doctoral trainees and undergraduate students at VT also have the opportunity to be involved in our training.