AIR-P (UCLA-initiated 9/1/20) Updates

January 20, 2021

In September 2020, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) had the opportunity to assume leadership of the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P) programming and activities under the direction of Dr. Alice Kuo. Funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, the AIR-P is an interdisciplinary, multicenter research network for scientific collaboration and infrastructure to increase the life expectancy and quality of life for autistic individuals, with a focus on underserved/vulnerable populations. The AIR-P supports innovative life course intervention research in six areas (Research Nodes): (1) primary care services and quality, (2) community-based lifestyle interventions, (3) gender, sexuality, and reproductive health, (4) health services and systems, (5) neurology, and (6) genetics.

The AIR-P enables the design and implementation of innovative and impactful autism research by building an infrastructure that includes a National Coordinating Center (NCC) at UCLA that performs a set of core administrative functions; a partnership with the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) which includes technical assistance, Network management, database development, and inclusion of their network of over 130 university centers; an Autistic Researchers Review Board (ARRB) which reviews all aspects of the Network to ensure that the research directly benefits autistic individuals; a Steering Committee comprised of the leaders of the six Research Nodes; and 15 pre-established Collaborating Research Entities (CREs) through the AUCD network. The AIR-P also aims to facilitate mentorship for new investigators to enter the field of autism and physical health research through the AIR-P Scholars program.

The mission of the AIR-P is to develop a robust research infrastructure that will foster measurable improvements in optimal physical health and well-being of autistic individuals and their families across the lifespan. The AIR-P envisions a future where autistic individuals experience optimal multi-dimensional health and well-being.

An overview of the AIR-P was recently presented at the introductory webinar, which can be viewed here, and more information is provided on the AIR-P website,