The largest grant ever to research autism has been awarded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative.
Forty-eight universities and research institutions including Trinity College Dublin, will take part in the trials and study the condition.
€115m in funding will be used to increase understanding of autism and to help develop therapies to improve health outcomes.
Commenting on the significance of Trinity College Dublin’s participation in the European research consortium, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Louise Gallagher said:
“I am delighted that we are participating in the world’s largest autism funding award which will further advance our understanding of autism and help develop new therapies to improve health outcomes and quality of life for autistic people.
Our inclusion in this programme recognises the strength of autism research in Ireland and the contribution that Irish autistic people, their families and advocates, researchers and Irish funding agencies have made to autism research over the years.
Researchers at Trinity College Dublin will contribute to the advancement of personalised approaches to therapies for Autism Spectrum Disorder.
This project builds on our ongoing research investigating rare genetic changes that are associated with autism symptoms.
Trinity researchers will focus on investigating individuals who carry deletions in genes specifically related to the structure and function of brain synapses (or brain cells).
They aim to find biomarkers that can help identify specific biological pathways involved in brain development.
The researchers will be engaging in a pan-European clinical trials network to investigate new therapies specifically targeting disabling symptoms and improving quality of life while also retaining unique autistic strengths.