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Giving to medicine and health at the University of Minnesota

Donors accelerate autism research

Philanthropy makes a real difference in the lives of children with debilitating diseases and disorders.

Because of Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison’s $1 million challenge gift to the University of Minnesota’s Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Initiative in 2007, for example, researchers here are digging deeper into the causes and possible therapies for autism and related conditions.

Some of the research initiatives made possible by the Harrisons and the generous group of donors who contributed to the challenge fund include efforts focused on:

  • Improving attention among people with ASDs

  • Identifying infants at risk for ASDs

  • Understanding speech and voice processing in the autistic brain

  • Using stem cell infusions in treating autistic children with gastrointestinal inflammation, a common effect of autism

  • Determining whether congenital cytomegalovirus is linked to autism

  • Uncovering the roles of serotonin signals in early forebrain development

  • Obtaining metabolomic profiles of people who have ASDs

To make a gift in support of autism research at the University of Minnesota, contact Lauren Moore at 612-626-7946 or

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