About Us


The Autism Genome research is a large-scale, collaborative genetics research effort that aims to identify autism susceptibility genes.

The genetic architecture of autism is undoubtedly complex. This means that the identification of autism risk factors requires large samples of well-characterised individuals, and strong scientific cooperation between clinical and laboratory researchers. 

Clinicians and scientists globally pool resources and clinical and scientific expertise to encompass the phenotypic, statistical, molecular, and functional expertise needed to define the genetic architecture of autism. 

One such effort was the Autsim Genome Project. AGP members published more than 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts on autism.

An initial project – AGP Phase 1 – was completed in 2007. A second research project – AGP Phase 2 – was finalised in 2010. The AGP is currently seeking funding for a third project – AGP Phase 3.

Initiated by the National Alliance for Autism Research, NAAR – nowAutism Speaks – the AGP is funded by international, private and public partners. (See: AGP Funders).  The AGP brought together researchers from centres in Europe, Canada and the USA.

  • International Molecular Genetic Study of Autism Consortium (IMGSAC)
  • The Autism Genetic Resource Exchange Consortium (AGRE)
  • Autism Genetics Cooperative
  • The Collaborative Programs of Excellence in Autism (CPEA)

2. The AGP Phase 1 project (2004-7):

The first phase of the Autism Genome Project – AGP Phase 1 – was successfully concluded in early 2007. (See: Times article, other media reports and publications.)

AGP Phase 1 was jointly led by two centres at the University of Oxford: Professor Anthony Monaco, from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, and Professor Anthony Bailey, from theDepartment of Psychiatry.

Scientists from over 50 research centres worked together on the project. (See: AGP Phase 1 members)

The main funder for AGP Phase 1 was Autism Speaks (formerly the National Alliance for Autism Research, NAAR).

In this first phase, the AGP achieved its initial goal of assembling the world’s largest gene bank for autism.

This was the most comprehensive database of autism families at the time, including both multiplex families (families with at least two affected individuals) and simplex families (one affected individual plus both parents). 

The AGP also achieved its goal of carrying out the world’s mostcomprehensive genome scan into the genetics of autism (further details below).

The main research findings were published in 2007. (See AGP publications).

Further details on this research HERE

See also: More on our research techniques

Above: AGP Meeting, New York, 2008  

3. The AGP Phase 2 project (2007-2010):

The second phase of the Autism Genome Project (AGP Phase 2) was launched in April 2007. The project funding period ended in December 2010.

The AGP Phase 2 project was led by Professor Anthony Monaco from Oxford University. It received funding of $16 million over three years – from international, private and public partners. (See AGP Funders).

This project aimed to identify meaningful common and rare genetic variants that are associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) including copy number variations. (see above). 

It benefited from the extensive and growing gene bank of autism families established by the AGP, which includes both multiplex and simplex families (see above)

The initial research findings were published in leading journals in 2010. (See AGP publications). Further findings will be published in 2011.

For further details on this research, see: Phase 2 research plan

See also: More on our research techniques

4. The AGP Phase 3 project (2011-):

In January 2011, the AGP received further funding to support its core Consortium activities only.

The AGP is currently seeking funding for a new Phase 3 project (ongoing).

5. Further details:

For more information about the work of the AGP, please contact: