has announced a $9 million grant from the to establish the largest-ever open-access repository of bioinformatic data on autism.
To be established at the , in collaboration with the , the , and the , the Hartwell Autism Research and Technology Initiative, (iHART), will provide the scientific community with a centralized, comprehensive repository of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) data. To that end, the interdisciplinary effort will deploy state-of-the-art computational tools, machine learning, and inference algorithms to encourage users to exploit the full potential of available data related to autism and will offer a platform that integrates genetic, phenotypic, genomic, and other types of data on nearly five thousand individuals affected with ASD. The initiative will be led by Dennis Wall, Ph.D., an autism researcher at Stanford Medicine.
"Our goal is for iHART's easily accessible computing and analytics platform to enable complex queries that may refine the definitions of autism," said Wall. "We hope iHART will lead the way toward clinical translation of various biomarkers for early detection and therapeutic intervention, and provide a multitude of solutions that help families and their children."