Kevin Pelphrey, PhD, the Harrison-Wood Jefferson Scholars Foundation Professor of Neurology, was awarded a $12M R01 grant from the NIH for the next 5 years for research to identify neurodevelopmental biomarkers of late diagnosis in female and gender diverse autism. The grant is one of only nine grants awarded nationally to an Autism Center of Excellence.
Pelphrey will lead a multidisciplinary team across multiple sites to identify and overcome the obstacles to the timely diagnosis of ASD in older autistic adolescents and adults, including people born female or who are gender diverse. Many people, especially girls, gender-diverse, minority, low-SES, and/or rural community children are late or never diagnosed. Pelphrey and his research team aim to develop a practicable screening tool to identify individuals at risk for late diagnosis and at increased risk for depression, anxiety, and self-harm. Early diagnosis may lead to more timely and improved support and better overall treatment outcomes.