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SPARK is a large, online research partnership that seeks to improve the lives of people with autism through research. The University of Minnesota is one of a network of clinical sites—autism centers and research institutions—that SPARK has partnered with across the country.

The goal of SPARK is to accelerate autism research in order to gain a better understanding of causes and treatments for autism. By building a community of tens of thousands of individuals with autism and their biological family members who provide behavioral and genetic data, SPARK will be the largest autism research study to date.

By joining SPARK, families will be making invaluable contributions to advancing the understanding of autism. This study is valuable to families because they will receive:

  • Results from the analysis of your family's DNA, in the event that you opt to

             receive this information and a genetic cause for autism is found

  • Access to interpretation of findings (de novo vs. inherited)
  • Connection to an ongoing community that provides current access to resources
  • Participation in the study entirely from home
  • Connections to further national studies


To register for SPARK visit: www.sparkforautism.org/uminnesota

Registration takes about 20-30 minutes. To participation in SPARK, we ask that you register and complete a few questionnaires online, and provide a saliva sample using a saliva collection kit that will be shipped directly to your home. Find out more about what’s involved on our SPARK FAQ page. Please don't hesitate to call me at 612-624-0116 or email me with any questions!