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Dr. Idan Menashe, Dr. Gal Meiri and Prof. Ilan Dinstein

 
Israel’s National Autism Research Center Opens at Ben-Gurion University

April 16, 2019

The Center, funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology and headed by Prof. Ilan Dinstein, will support research and provide information for decision makers, healthcare professionals and the general public.

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Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and neighbouring Soroka University Medical Center have announced the opening of Israel’s National Autism Research Center at Ben-Gurion University. The Center, funded partly by the Ministries of Health and of Science and Technology headed by  Prof. Ilan Dinstein, Dr. Gal Meiri, Dr. Idan Menashe  and  Dr. Hava Golan,  will serve as Israel's leading information and research center on the subject of autism spectrum disorder and will be the coordinating body to assemble national studies on autism.

The Center will provide access to research for scholars seeking new treatment methods, create shared national databases and distribute information to decision makers, healthcare professionals and the general public.

The Ministry of Science and Technology selected BGU to host the national center last summer and announced its opening during the first national conference for the study of autism, held on the University's Marcus Family Campus in Beer-Sheva. The two-day conference brought together 120 doctors, academics, NGOs and mental health professionals to discuss treatment methods and research in mid-February.

"The decision to upgrade the Negev Autism Center from a regional to a national body is a gratifying vote of confidence in the research we've done here, and especially in our multi-disciplinary approach to treating autism," says Prof. Dinstein.

"Since we founded the Center in 2015 we've encouraged scientists and clinicians from a variety of different fields including pediatrics, neurology, psychiatry, genetics, neuroscience, developmental psychology, molecular biology and biomedical engineering to share their findings. The results of that collaboration forms the basis of the first database of its kind in Israel with a variety of clinical, behavioral, and biological measurements, gathered from hundreds of children with autism and their families.

"The breadth and depth of the data we've collected is an invaluable tool both for theoretical research and treatment applications," he added.

Ben-Gurion University President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz added: "The new Center is an important benchmark for the study and treatment of the range of conditions that fall under the 'autism' rubric. It will serve academic researchers and healthcare professionals alike with a wealth of up-to-date research, detailed case studies, treatment methods and more, making the National Center for the Study of Autism an invaluable warehouse of data and information."

Technology Ministry Director General Ran Bar: "The first nation-wide conference on autism, which took place with funding from the Ministry of Technology, was a platform for scholars and practitioners from all the bodies that are active in this area in Israel to meet, coordinate and to swap ideas. In addition, this Center will foster research collaboration on an international level."

 

 
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


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