THE ORGANIZATION

The BAAC believes that a viable treatment for Autism will not come from one source, but will draw on the cutting-edge work of researchers in psychiatry, neurology, pediatrics, genetics, epidemiology, developmental neurobiology, pharmacology and perhaps even other fields that currently we cannot anticipate. We are a growing collaboration between members of Autism programs at some of the world’s leading research  and clinical centers—University of California-San Francisco, Stanford University, Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, the California Department of  Public Health, SRI International, Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, and the Children’s Health Council.

Partially funded by the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation, the BAAC will create an intellectual hub where collaborations can be nurtured, ideas are shared, and joint ventures forged. We believe that competition can propel discovery, but collaboration has the power to multiply it. Rather than hope for a miracle, we believe that together we can make one.

See our membership list for a complete list of current members.

OUR MISSION

Our mission is to advance the understanding and treatment of autism spectrum disorders by supporting multidisciplinary collaboration among researchers, care providers, and the Bay Area’s technologically innovative community.

THE ISSUES

-Current Trends
The identification of children with autism has increased at an alarming rate to where 1 in 68 children in the United States has autism spectrum disorder. Multiple factors account for this increase.  The most current information shows autism is caused by genetic vulnerability and its interaction with environmental stressors.

-Obstacles
The complexity of this disorder requires researchers and clinicians across disciplines to work in partnership to accomplish what each cannot do alone.

Scientific institutions strive to maintain a diverse group of researchers working in complimentary ways, but competition among institutions for faculty means that the brightest minds are often spread across these centers. Likewise, within an institution, this focus on diversity of thought means that researchers working in the same area are more often than not working at different centers.  The BAAC will provide an arena where scientists can locate experts in their field or in a complimentary field for shared research.  Through pilot research grants, seminars and conferences, and a central regional research directory, the consortium will bridge institutional lines and remove roadblocks that impede scientific collaboration.

-Rapid Advancement
Researchers throughout the greater Bay Area are actively investigating the causes of and treatments for autism and related disorders. Rapid advances in our understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of Autism will require premiere scientists to cross institutional lines and work together on brain imaging, genetic, neuropsychological, pharmacological and behavioral research and in partnership with other practitioners who will translate their discoveries into clinical care for patients.  We will need families committed to participate in trials and a network to connect families to the appropriate research studies across institutions.