The Eagles Autism Foundation has announced that a total of 18 projects will receive $3.1 million in funding for cutting-edge autism research and programming. The funding is a direct result of the proceeds raised by participants from the 2020 Eagles Autism Challenge presented by Lincoln Financial Group, which took place virtually on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020.
“I look forward to this review process every year because it brings to light the important work the Eagles Autism Foundation is committed to performing,” said Jeffrey Lurie, Philadelphia Eagles Chairman and CEO. “This past year reminded us how precious life is and how important the work of the Eagles Autism Foundation is toward bettering the lives of others. The pandemic forced us to take a step back and reimagine how we could positively impact the community in ways we never have before. We are especially proud to fund this year’s research projects and community grants, which have demonstrated to us the potential to transform the field of autism for families today and for those in the future.”
A total of 47 letters of intent were submitted for grant funding. The projects were narrowed down to 28 full proposals that went through a comprehensive evaluation process. Each project was carefully reviewed by an independent team of scientists who have demonstrated a clear and steadfast commitment to autism research, services, and programs. Following the review process, it was determined that eight pilot studies would be awarded to:
• Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) – Precision cell-based therapy for seizure and autism in Dravet syndrome
• Drexel University – Emotional expressivity in young children with and without ASD
• Harvard University – The use of high-dimensional EEG in the early identification of autism in primary care
• University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) – Transcranial magnetic stimulation in ASD for sensory over responsivity
• University of Connecticut (UConn) – Identifying genes that contribute to Dup15q autism using a human stem cell model
• University of Iowa – Functional connectivity of the amygdala in autism
• University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMass Medical School) – Biomarker-driven pharmacological treatment for ASD
• University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) – Striatal circuit dysfunction in autism
A total of 21 community grant applications were submitted and analyzed according to evidence-based programming and ability to make an immediate impact. Ten community grants were awarded to the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, Center at Hampton House, Center for Autism Research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Elwyn Foundation, Ken’s Krew, Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support, The Precision Institute, Valley Forge Educational Services, Variety – The Children’s Charity of Delaware Valley, and West Chester University.
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