SFARI - Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Launched in 2006, SFARI is a scientific initiative within the Simons Foundation’s suite of programs. SFARI’s mission is to improve the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders by funding innovative research of the highest quality and relevance.To better understand the work and current research of SFARI we speak to Dr John Spiro, Deputy Scientific Director of SFARI.
Dr John Spiro works with the SFARI director to oversee all aspects of the foundation’s autism research initiatives. He helped launch the Simons Variation in Individuals Project (now Simons Searchlight) and has spearheaded the foundation’s efforts to promote the use of preprints in the life sciences as well as other initiatives aimed at more open data sharing.
John earned his undergraduate degree in biology from Haverford College and his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego. Prior to joining SFARI John worked with Nature Publishing Group as a senior editor.
Ms Kris Pierce RN MHSc MWellness, is a rare disease advocate and mother to Will who has SCN2A. Kris has held a range of board, project management, advocate and consumer representative roles and has been instrumental in working with local, state and federal governments to secure funding for multi-million dollar projects. Kris is highly skilled in building teams to work together collaboratively and is a co-founder of Genetic Epilepsy Team Australia (GETA) and SCN2A Australia, and a RARE Global Advocacy Leadership Council member.