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About the Institute

The Florida State University (FSU) Autism Institute was established in the FSU College of Medicine to coordinate and promote research, education, and service related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

The mission of the Autism Institute is:

  • to promote interdisciplinary research that advances scientific knowledge of autism spectrum disorders;
  • to bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and community-based practice;
  • to build the capacity of primary care physicians and other community-based service providers, educators, employers, family members, and individuals with ASD to improve outcomes through research and training; and
  • to maximize the use of innovative video and information technology in research, education, and service related to ASD.

History of the Institute

History of the FSU College of Medicine and Establishment of the Autism Institute
The FSU College of Medicine, the first new medical school of the 21st Century, was established in June 2000 by the Florida Legislature with the mission of serving the unique needs of Floridians. The FSU College of Medicine is designed as a community-based medical school distinguished by the extent and diversity of clinical training and experiences across the four-years. The infrastructure of six regional campuses across Florida (Daytona, Fort Pierce, Orlando, Pensacola, Sarasota, and Tallahassee), two rural training sites (Immokalee and Marianna) and over 1,900 physicians in private, group or hospital-based practices allows access to as many as two million Floridian patients from across the spectrum of health and illness, gender, age, and socioeconomic status, residing in rural, suburban, and urban communities. Students spend their first two years taking basic science courses on the FSU campus in Tallahassee and are then assigned to one of the regional medical school campuses for their third- and fourth-year clinical training.  The FSU College of Medicine’s community-based model of education provides an ideal foundation for a clinical research network, that provides clinical, translational, and behavioral research opportunities for clinicians, faculty, and students in real world, community-based practice settings.

Florida Statute 1004.42 defined the purpose of the FSU COM to prepare “… physicians to practice primary care, geriatric, and rural medicine, to make appropriate use of emerging technologies, and to function successfully in a rapidly changing health care environment; advancing knowledge in the applied biomedical and behavioral sciences, geriatric research, autism, cancer, and chronic diseases; ...”  The Autism Institute was established in 2008 in the FSU COM as a mechanism to meet the intent of this statute relating to advancing knowledge in autism and to build the capacity of autism research at FSU that capitalizes on the unique strengths and infrastructure of the FSU COM.