$16M donation establishes centre for autism research at McGill Univ

Mark Henderson
October 25, 2017

A donation of $16 million has helped establish a new autism research centre at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (MNI) at McGill Univ. The Azrieli Centre for Autism Research (ACAR) will conduct research on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that could lead to the development of better diagnostic tools and more effective therapies for people with autism. The donation from the Azrieli Foundation will make The Neuro institute the first in Canada to develop a comprehensive program for autism – from research to drug discovery to training of autism specialists. As a hub for multiple approaches to autism research, the centre will also focus on research in genetics and brain imaging techniques to better understand the differences in children and adults living with ASD. McGill says identifying the genes that result in autism and other risk factors will help researchers identify ASD at an early stage. People with ASD and their families will have access to the latest discoveries, including novel therapies. The Azrieli Foundation has been pouring donations into other neuroscience and biomedical research projects in Canada. In 2015, the foundation was the Canadian partner in a Canadian-Israeli biomedical research partnership on neurosciences. In 2014, it participated in a multi-donor contribution to Brain Canada to match the federal government’s funding for neuroscience research. The foundation gave $15 million to establish the Azrieli Neurodevelopmental Research Program for research on Alzheimer’s disease, autism and fragile X syndrome.

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