Shining a New Light on the Spectrum:
The Hebrew University’s Autism Center
Investigating the benefits of oxytocin treatment for individuals with ASD. Developing new modalities of community-based interventions. Elucidating prenatal and perinatal risk factors. Providing training and support for individuals, families, and professionals. These are just a few of the activities of Hebrew University’s Autism Center, a multi-pronged, interdisciplinary initiative designed to address the many challenges of autism spectrum disorder, a neurodevelopmental condition affecting 1 in 59 individuals worldwide.
The Autism Center brings together cutting-edge basic, biomedical and behavioral research, clinical services, state-of-the-art training, and knowledge translation for professionals, families, and individuals in the community. Anchored in Social Work, Medicine and Education, the Autism Center includes researchers and students from brain sciences, genetics, metabolism and nutrition, neonatology, neurology, economics, computer science, occupational therapy, pediatrics, pharmacology, psychiatry, psychology, and public health, as well as clinicians in affiliated hospitals.
The Autism Center is already changing the face of autism in Israel and around the world, with its faculty involved in national and international policymaking, groundbreaking research and pioneering clinical services.
The Hebrew University plans to renovate and equip a facility to serve the unique and multi-faceted needs of this Center. Such a facility will encourage interdisciplinary dialogue, collaboration and enrichment, serving researchers, families and individuals alike and ensuring the development of the field in support of those affected by ASD in Israel and worldwide.
"Autism is a multi-faceted neurodevelopment disorder ... We need to work in an interdisciplinary fashion, fostering stimulation and conversation across fields. It's an amazing thing to look around the room and see experts in the area of genetics and neurobiology, educational and social work, epidemiology and public health. Interacting with people from different disciplines and different faculties forces us to think outside the box."
Dr Judah Koller, Associate Director, Autism Center