Current Research

Every study SARRC conducts is valuable to the autism community, but we cannot do it alone. We look to families of individuals impacted by autism to participate in our current research projects.

Current Research Projects 

SARRC's research brings together methods and scientists in an effort to gain greater understanding of possible causes of autism, identify better treatments, and learn, as well as educate others, about how to improve the quality of life for those affected by ASD and their families. Additionally, nearly all of our active studies provide compensation or travel reimbursement for families.

View all current studies and pharmaceutical trials below. 

Autism Screening Network 
For any developmental disorder, early diagnosis is key. This program aims to identify every child with ASD in the network by the age of 3 at the latest. Participating pediatricians agree to screen for ASD at the 12-, 18- and 24-month well-baby visits. If results indicate potential concerns, the parents are referred to SARRC for an evaluation with a licensed clinical psychologist. Families are provided with feedback at the end of their visit and have a diagnostic report mailed to them within a few weeks. For more information, contact 602.340.8717, Ext. 1187.

Aging & Autism Study
In partnership with Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI), SARRC is studying the aging process of individuals with autism. There are two groups of participants for this study, including men and women ages 18-25 and 40-50 years old. Participants are asked to complete an evaluation at SARRC and then undergo an FMRI scan at BNI. During the scan, participants will complete tasks related to memory and thinking. For more information, contact 602.218.8184.

Right-handed males ages 18-25, and 40+. For more details, click here.
Right-handed females ages 18-25, and 40+. For more details, click here.

Early Eye Tracking Study
SARRC is leading a trial with Marcus Autism Center comparing the efficacy of an early eye tracking device, with a traditional diagnostic assessment provided by a SARRC Psychologist. We are now seeking typically developing toddlers, 16 to 30 months old, to participate. By studying both typically developing children and children with autism, we can find better ways to diagnose and treat autism at an earlier age. Participation will involve your child playing games that test language, learning, and social skills, and watching kid-friendly videos as we track eye-movement. Families receive a written report about their child’s development and compensation for participation. For more information, contact 602.218.8183.

NODA Study
The Naturalistic Observational Diagnostic Assessment (NODA) is the product of a SARRC Research collaboration with Behavior Imaging. NODA is an app that allows families to seek and receive an autism diagnosis from the comfort of their home by submitting video evidence of their child’s behavior to a team of diagnostic clinicians. SARRC and Behavior Imaging are continuing to do research on this tool. En espanol: Dignostico del autismo – obtenga respuestas rapidamente. For more information, contact 602.340.8717, Ext. 2000. *Tambien en espanol. 

Autism and Mindfulness Intervention 
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a novel behavioral intervention and structured training plan that has been shown to improve mood symptoms (e.g. depression and anxiety). Adults with autism often experience depression and anxiety symptoms that can affect quality of life. This study will evaluate the effectiveness of MBSR in treating depression and anxiety by examining brain function before and after MBSR training. This study is open to all adults, ages 18 and older, with autism. To learn more about this study or to enroll, contact the Autism Brain Aging Lab at 480.727.3970.

Pharmaceutical Trials

The Rocket Study
SARRC is working with Ovid Therapeutics to recruit for the Rocket study, a clinical research study on Fragile X syndrome (FXS). The study is open to males ages 13 to 22 and is focused on an investigational compound that may be effective in treating some of the behavioral symptoms associated with FXS. Travel reimbursement is available. For more information, contact 602.218.8183 or click here.

CONNECT-FX Study
The CONNECT- Fragile X syndrome (FXS) study, sponsored by Zynerba, is evaluating the efficacy of cannabidiol gel for children and adolescents with FXS ages 3 to 17.  This investigational compound is the first and only pharmaceutically-produced cannabidiol, also called CBD, formulated as a gel for transdermal delivery. SARRC is one of 20 participating sites in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Travel reimbursement is available for participating families. For more information, contact 602.218.8183 or click here.

Janssen Study
The Janssen study is investigating the efficacy of an investigational medication targeting the most common behavioral symptoms of autism. We are enrolling adolescents and young adults with ASD ages 13 through 30 to participate. Participants must have a study partner (e.g. parent, caregiver, significant other) available to attend all appointments. For more information, contact 602.218.8183.

Aviation Study
SARRC has partnered with Roche Pharmaceuticals for many years – currently, we are collaborating on the Aviation Study, a pediatric clinical trial for autism. This trial is investigating a new compound to observe its potential effects on the social communication and interaction skills of children with autism, ages 5-17. For more information, contact 602.218.8183.

Orbiting Study
This study is sponsored by Roche, and is investigating novel technology that may provide a more accurate, objective measure of social functioning in participants with autism ages 5 to 45. There is no medication involved in this trial. Participants will use state-of-the-art technology both at our center during study visits, and in their home. For more information, contact 602.218.8183.

Viaduct Study
This trial, sponsored by Roche, will assess if an investigational medication called balovaptan can help adults with ASD manage certain social and communication challenges a little better. For more information, contact 602.218.8183.

SPARK Study
The Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative is offering SPARK—an online, long-term study of genetics and autism. SPARK will collect and analyze genetic samples (saliva) from all participants to help autism researchers learn about genetic and non-genetic causes of autism. SPARK is open to all individuals with a professional diagnosis of autism, as well as their parents. Participation can take place either in your home or SARRC. For more information, contact 602.340.8717, Ext. 8175.