The INSAR Annual Meeting (formerly IMFAR) is an annual scientific meeting, convened each spring, to exchange and disseminate new scientific progress among autism scientists and their trainees from around the world. The aims of the meeting are:
- Promote exchange and dissemination of the latest scientific findings and to stimulate research progress in understanding the nature, causes, and treatments for autism. Research on autism involves sophisticated behavioral and biological approaches. Autism affects people’s functioning in virtually every domain, requiring interdisciplinary research collaboration to gain comprehensive knowledge of the disorder.
- Foster dialogue among autism scientists across disciplines and across methods.
- Advance the training and development of new autism scientists by supporting the inclusion of postdoctoral and predoctoral trainees as well as junior faculty who are already working in autism research. The opportunity for trainees and junior faculty to interact with established autism scientists will foster the creativity and productivity of those at all levels.
- Cultivate diversity among autism scientists by encouraging attendance and supporting access to the meeting for scientists and trainees from members of traditionally underrepresented groups, including those from ethnic minority groups, and those with disabilities.
Given the complex biological and behavioral nature of autism, interdisciplinary training and ongoing mentoring of new scientists and promising graduate students is necessary to recruit talented young people in autism research. INSAR seeks to provide them with the motivation and mentoring needed to focus a career on autism and related developmental disorders. Having an annual interdisciplinary meeting focused on scientific progress in understanding and treating autism provides an unparalleled opportunity for recognizing, supporting, and motivating talented graduate students and postdoctoral fellows into a career in autism research.
History of the Conference
The International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) was convened for the first time in November 2001, to provide autism researchers from around the world with a focused opportunity to share the rapidly moving scientific investigation of autism.
Until that meeting, autism researchers competed with many other groups for the opportunity to share their work at large scientific meetings that covered a wide range of topics. While other meetings provided some opportunity to share high quality autism research, none of them focused specifically on autism. Funding for autism research has increased steadily, highlighted by the emergence of private foundations, such as Autism Speaks and several NIH initiatives: The Autism Centers for Excellence (ACE), which replaces earlier NIH programs - The Collaborative Programs of Excellence in Autism (CPEA) and the Studies to Advance Autism Research and Treatment (STAART) network program. Stimulating more scientific progress in understanding autism requires dedicated yearly venue for autism researchers to share their findings and their resources.
The name of the meeting was changed from IMFAR to INSAR Annual Meeting beginning with the 2018 event.
INSAR does not offer continuing education credits for the Annual Meeting.
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