About Us

SIDB’s mission is to deliver an integrated and highly collaborative centre which aims to discover biological mechanisms underlying autism and to use this information to deliver rational therapeutic interventions.

The SIDB is a research centre based at the University of Edinburgh and is a “virtual centre” bringing together over 30 principal investigators across 6 research sites. It was founded in 2017 following a generous donation from the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI). The SIDB is a sister centre of the Patrick Wild Centre for Research into Autism, Fragile X Syndrome and Intellectual Disabilities.

The Centre’s scientific aims are to:

  • determine whether there are critical periods during development when treatments are most effective and, if so, whether critical periods are treatment-specific
  • determine whether genetic convergence predicts convergence of phenotypic pathophysiology and ultimately common treatments
  • meaningfully stratify autism spectrum disorders based on biological criteria
  • enable world-class innovative studies into the mechanisms that underlie autism
  • prepare deep-phenotyped trial ready cohorts for experimental medicine and clinical trials

At SIDB we believe that the time is ripe for a step-change in autism medicine. There is an absence of effective disease-modifying therapies for autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders despite decades of research and billions of dollars spent.  

Our ethos will promote interaction between clinicians and basic scientists to ensure our research is focused on medically relevant aspects of disease. Integrated fundamental and clinical research programmes are essential to deliver true transformation in translational neuroscience that must have the explicit objective of improved care and clinical trials of new medicines and serve the common purpose and shared vision of helping families and individuals with autism.