Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation (EARLI)
Co-Investigator: Assistant Research Professor Cheryl Walker, M.D.
Research funding: National Institute of Health, R01 ES016443
The Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation (EARLI) Network will establish and prospectively follow a cohort of mothers of children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at the start of a subsequent pregnancy (with select preconception data collection). This enriched-risk cohort will have the potential to serve as a study population for a variety of observational studies on the etiology and natural history of ASDs. The Network includes an Administrative Center at the Drexel University School of Public Health, a Data Coordinating Center at University of California Davis, a Central Laboratory and Repository at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and four field sites: 1) Drexel University School of Public Health / Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; 2) University of California Davis / MIND Institute; 3) Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health / Kennedy Krieger Institute; and 4) Northern California Kaiser Permanente. The goal is to have data on 1,000 siblings of ASD probands from fetal life through 36 months of age. This will allow sufficiently-powered estimation of associations among exposures and biomarkers measured during the pre-, peri-, and neonatal periods and ASD risk as well as candidate gene, gene-environment interaction, epigenetic, and maternally-mediated genetic effects.