Dr. Ennis and Dru James of the Bill and Connie Timmons Foundation have designated a gift of $100,000 to the Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC) Foundation. The funds will directly support the Center's ongoing research on autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
GGC has been involved in autism research for over 20 years, and recently GGC researchers have identified a unique metabolic profile in blood samples from individuals with autism as compared to controls. This metabolic profile is currently being validated as a potential blood test to help diagnose ASD.
Anand K. Srivastava, PhD, Associate Director of Research at GGC, is working with the Center's biochemical diagnostic laboratory to develop the blood-based screening test. "If we can diagnose children with ASD at an earlier age, it will allow them to benefit from services and therapies sooner," said Srivastava. "We are also hopeful that this work could point us toward an effective treatment for ASD in the future."
"Being in the health and education fields, we have seen the impact of ASD on children, their families and our communities. Whether it is in the field of health or education, we believe in the importance of early diagnosis and treatment," shared Dr. and Mrs. James. "Looking at the Greenwood Genetic Center's history of ground breaking research in this and many other areas, we are glad to be a small part of their abilities to impact so many lives. Greenwood and South Carolina are indeed fortunate to have such an organization in our community and state."
"The generosity of Dr. and Mrs. James and the Timmons Foundation will provide GGC with the necessary additional resources to move the validation of this blood test forward," said GGC Director, Dr. Steve Skinner. "We are grateful for their support and shared vision of improving the lives of individuals and families impacted by ASD."