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SPARC Grant Supports Autism Research

JoLynne Lyon

12/20/2016

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Drs. Thayne Sweeten and Anthony R. Torres have received a SPARC seed grant from Utah State University to study immune genes in children with autism and their mothers. Their work will investigate whether certain genetic variants are associated with maternal immune activation against the fetus, affecting the child's intelligence.

The $33,000 in university funding will be used to generate data in support of future research that would be funded from outside sources. SPARC--or Seed Program to Advance Research Collaborations--provides money to catalyze development of interdisciplinary research teams and projects that involve scholarly research in more than one department, research center, college, or institution.

Sweeten is the current Director and Dr. Torres is the Research Coordinator for the Immunology and Genetic Research Laboratory at the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University. Sweeten is also a Senior Lecturer for the Department of Biology at the USU Brigham City Campus.

Both have studied autism for more than 20 years.

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