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SPARK: Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge, a national cohort of individuals and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Study HIC#:2000024931
  • Last Updated:07/15/2021

SPARK study at Yale - all ages welcome 
SPARK is a growing community of individuals, families, and researchers on a mission to speed up the understanding of autism. Our aims are to: 
  • Collect DNA from saliva samples and information through surveys from 50,000 people with autism and both of their parents and share that data with researchers.
  • Make breakthroughs that were never before possible and return our findings to you.
  • SPARK is sponsored by the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) and Yale is one of more than 30 participating hospitals and clinics across the country.
Why join SPARK? 
  • Find possible genetic causes of autism in your own family and power future autism research for years to come.
  • Join other autism research studies and get updates on the latest autism research.
  • Connect with a community of 1400 SPARK participants in our region!
You can receive up to $50 Amazon gift card for participation.  Registration can be completed entirely online and from home at www.SPARKforAutism.org/Yale or by scheduling an appointment with the Yale study team. To participate, simply register online and consent to the study. Saliva kits will be mailed to you and provided with return packaging. If you have questions call (203) 785-7539 or email sparkforautism@yale.edu.
  • GenderBoth
  • Start Date10/16/2019
  • End Date12/31/2025

Trial Purpose and Description

The purpose of SPARK: Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge (hereinafter referred to as SPARK) is to recruit, engage, and retain a community of 50,000 individuals with ASD along with their family members in the United States to identify the causes of ASD, accelerate clinical research by providing the autism research community with a genotyped cohort of consented participants, and establish a research cohort of individuals and families with ASD. The data generated will facilitate identification of additional genes that contribute strongly to ASD and define their corresponding genotype-phenotype relationships. Data from this cohort will also help identify additional non-genetic causes of ASD. A long term goal of SPARK is to enable genotype-driven clinical research in ASD, which may translate into genotype-driven therapeutics and treatment of ASD. This type of precision medicine approach is an emerging strategy for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual genetic variability, environment, and lifestyle. Noteworthy advances in precision medicine have been made for specific cancers, but precision treatments are not currently available for most diseases. Many researchers are working towards precision medicine, and SPARK is one such project. A limited data set from this study will be made available to qualified researchers, so that scientific and treatment advances can be made as rapidly as possible.

Eligibility Criteria

All children and adults with a professional diagnosis of ASD who live in the United States are eligible to participate in this study. Biological or adoptive parents, legally authorized representatives (LARs), and full biological siblings who live in the United States are also eligible to participate.

Principal Investigator

Sub-Investigator

For more information about this study, contact:

Or contact the Help us Discover team on: