A National Institute of Health Autism Center of Excellence, UVA has made significant contributions to the understanding and treatment of autism. Currently Dr. John Lukens’ research points toward a link between autism and the health of a mother’s microbiome during pregnancy. Meanwhile Dr. Kevin Pelphrey’s work seeks to determine how autism differs in boys and girls. Through UVA’s Supporting Transformative Autism Research (STAR) program, Micah Mazurek offers ongoing support for children and families.

“We’re beginning to understand the different causes of autism and understand how we can intervene based on those causes,” says Pelphrey. “Using brain science to modify which treatment we select for a child is probably going to be the most important thing we can do in the next five years.”

Understanding autism and caring for those who are affected is one of the great challenges of our time. While the rate of diagnoses has increased dramatically over the past two decades, knowledge of the root causes and how to support those impacted is still limited. Your generosity can help change the tide.


To get involved or start a conversation, contact Kelly Reinhardt, Director of Development, Neurosciences.