The VT Center for Autism Research (VTCAR) was established in the College of Science to promote collaborative research on Autism Spectrum Disorders and related conditions from multiple disciplinary perspectives. VTCAR builds upon basic and clinical resources already available at VT and works closely with the VT Autism Clinic and other autism service providers to provide outreach on research findings, conduct research, and recruit participants. Currently, VTCAR consists of over 30 faculty affiliates across the university, from departments as diverse as biological sciences, psychology, engineering, computer science, education, human development, and more. We aim to assist these researchers through establishing a central and ongoing research database of potential research participants that are well-characterized with behavioral assessments. We also aim to facilitate interactions among scientists who wish to apply their work to ASD, through an annual conference, outreach, and assistance with grant development. Finally, we hope to involve graduate and undergraduate students interested in conducting research in this field, and we welcome participation and input from the community.

Our Mission

The goal of VTCAR is to be a major force in promoting state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary research, both basic and applied, related to autism and associated neurodevelopmental conditions (referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorders, ASD). An ancillary aim is to support post-doctoral, graduate and undergraduate student training as they relate to promoting the research mission.

In research, we seek to become a nationally and internationally recognized autism research center, focused on cutting-edge research that merges multiple disciplines to understand the assessment, etiology, development, treatment, and public health impact of ASD.

We provide training to graduate students in evidence-based ASD assessment and intervention approaches, as well as brain imaging technology, eye-tracking methodology, genotyping, and other emerging approaches that may advance this field. Post-doctoral trainees and undergraduate students of VT also have the opportunity to be involved in our training.