Over the past several years, basic researchers and clinicians in major Cleveland institutions (Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and MetroHealth Medical Center) have united to form the Program for Autism Education and Research (PAER), in collaboration with major community partners, garnering over $5 million dollars for new research into Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

PAER research includes basic, clinical, and translational studies of etiological risk factors, underlying biological mechanisms, brain imaging and function, diagnosis and phenotyping, treatment, and prevention. With the recent recruitment of Anthony Wynshaw-Boris, MD, PhD, to the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine as chair of genetics, to assist in this initiative, PAER is poised to become an international leader in translational research that will impact autism in Northeast Ohio and around the world.

We propose a fully integrated, cross-institutional center that will leverage the untapped resources of Cleveland’s medical and educational institutions by fostering collaborations among a range of investigators, including basic neuroscientists, probing the molecular and cellular mechanisms of ASD; geneticists who are identifying biological pathways by which mutations alter brain development; clinical researchers who specialize in detailed assessments (pediatricians, psychologists, psychiatrists); pharmacologists; and experts in bioinformatics and epidemiology.