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GNC members receive funding for future research

News: Nov 01, 2018


  • Maria Råstam (principal investigator), Christopher Gillberg (co-investigator) have been awarded a grant of 2.4 million SEK from the Swedish Research Council. The grant will be used to conduct cross-cultural population studies on Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) and other childhood eating problems. In two longitudinally followed population-based cohorts, one in Japan and one in Sweden, we will examine prospectively on a yearly basis (1) prevalence, (2) age of onset, (3) comorbidity with neurodevelopmental disorders, and (4) longitudinal course of a comprehensive range of eating behavior problems, throughout childhood into adolescence. This will be the largest population-based study so far examining ARFID.


  • Nouchine Hadjikhani has been awarded a grant of 4.8 million SEK by the Swedish Research Council. The grant is for a project aimed at testing the hypothesis that the presence of an imbalance between the excitatory and inhibitory (E/I) neurotransmitter systems may underlie the pathophysiology of autism. We will focus this research effort directly towards the social impairments defining autism. This will include a detailed behavioural and neurophysiological characterisation of emotional face perception and eye contact, in which a general hypersensitivity is expected in those with autism, as well as a double-blind placebo-controlled randomised trial of a substance, bumetanide, that has been shown in recent research to directly restore E/I balance through the reduction of intracellular chloride.


  • Carmela Miniscalco (Principal Investigator) and Christopher Gillberg, in collaboration with professor Kristina Jakobsson and associates, with the Unit for Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, a part of the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, has been awarded a grant of just over 3 million SEK for a 3-year FORTE-funded project. The title of the project is A population-based study of language development in children after exposure to per- and polyfluorinated compounds (PFC), and it will start in January of 2019.


  • The Chief Scientist Office (Scotland) has awarded £300K to GNC members Lucy Thompson and Helen Minnis for a feasibility trial of Parents InC, a parenting intervention for parents of school aged children who have recently received an ADHD diagnosis. Christopher Gillberg is a co-investigator. The aim is to assess how feasible and acceptable it will be to recruit families to a two-arm trial assessing the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of Parents InC compared to the Webster-Stratton Incredible Years programme (routinely offered to families where children have behavioural problems). The study will run for 2.5 years and will also look at outcomes for families (primarily parental sense of competence).


  • The Danish Tryg Foundation has awarded DKr 1.4M to fund the FamilieTrivsel trial, based in the University of Copenhagen and led by GNC member Phil Wilson; Christopher Gillberg and Lucy Thompson are co-investigators. This trial aims to recruit 1000 pregnant women and to follow them and their children for 3 years, with regular assessments of child developmental status. The trial (testing a web-based mentalisation programme) is based in general practice where, in Denmark, most prenatal and child developmental assessments are based.


  •  The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR – one of the UK’s largest research funders) has awarded £1.4M to Phil Wilson and Lucy Thompson for a trial of the Mellow Babies group-based parenting programme. The trial aims to recruit 220 women with a wide range of major psychiatric or social difficulties. The programme aims to improve maternal mental health, parental sensitivity and ultimately child social and emotional development. The principal outcome measures will be language development and SDQ score at 30 months of age.


  • Dr. Jonathan Delafield-Butt. Our newly developed Laboratory for Innovation in Autism at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow works with world-leading expertise in engineering to develop ecological sensors and artificial intelligence data analytics for the early detection of neurodevelopmental disorders. We have two projects and have received some significant recent funding from multiple sources: (1) iPad-based assessment of children 3-5 years old using fun and engaging serious games for the children, and (2) feather-weight wearable sensors for neonates and very young infants. The iPad work is funded through an EU H2020 grant to Harimata to test the predictive value of iPad gameplay in assessment of young children with autism. The award is for €731k with co-investigators Prof. Christopher Gillberg, Prof. Helen Minnis, Prof. Phil Wilson, Dr. Lucy Thompson, Dr. Alex McConnachie. The wearables project is funded through an EPSRC (UK) grant for £50k and two PhD studentships from the ESRC (UK) and Capita (UK) to a combined value of £156k. These are co-led by our psychology-engineering team of Prof Phil Rowe, Prof. Ivan Andonovic, and Dr. Christos Tachtatzis at Strathclyde. Finally, we receive philanthropic support from autism champion Duncan Hawthorne for a Hawthorne Fellowship in Autism Innovation to a value of £196k, a 3-year senior research position. We are extremely humbled by the support we have received. The iPad work is currently ongoing at the GNC in Gothenburg led by Ingrid Vinsa and PhD Bibbi Hagberg, and in Glasgow. The wearables technology is being developed with Dr. Catia Cardoso for deployment in the Madeira Birth Cohort Study.








BY: Anna Spyrou

Page Manager: Anna Spyrou|Last update: 2/20/2019

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