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First-ever autism research conference to explore new frontiers

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- In a move that reflects the emergence of autism to the center stage of the scientific community, the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) will promote communication and facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration among scientists researching the disorder. The inaugural forum will be held on November 9-10, 2001 in San Diego, California, as a satellite event of the Society for Neuroscience Meeting. The conference is underwritten collaboratively by the Cure Autism Now Foundation, the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute and the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) three of the most prominent organizations in the field.

Spearheaded by parent activists, the plight of children with autism has been brought to national and international awareness. The scientific community has responded; an increasing number of scientists are carrying out research into all facets of the disorder. As a result, IMFAR is expected to attract preeminent research scientists from around the world.

Five years ago, the Neuroscience meeting had perhaps six presentations on autism. Suddenly in six short years, autism has its own meeting with over two hundred

presentations, said Jonathan Shestack, co-founder of the Cure Autism Now Foundation. This is an amazing change and testimony to a very strong emerging field, an exponential growth in available funding and a tragic rise in incidence. We hope that this forum, the first of its kind, will lead to even greater awareness, better communication and collaboration and rapid development of treatments."

IMFARs keynote presentations, slide and poster presentations, workshops and plenary sessions will highlight many different topics in autism, including structural imaging, molecular and genetic approaches, and epidemiological investigations. In addition, the conference will feature a "State-of-the-Science" symposium that will provide a broad overview of current knowledge and future directions on a
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Contact: Martha Alcott
martha.alcott@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9027
University of California, Davis - Health System
24-Oct-2001


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