Autism Research Institute

Hartwick's Russo Receives Grants from Autism Research Institute

September 6, 2012

Hartwick College Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Anthony (A.J.) Russo has received two grants from the Autism Research Institute (ARI) for a total of $15,810. Dr. Russo and his students will use the funds to continue their studies on the roles of the neurotransmitters GABA and glutamine in the etiology of autism.

The grants, (1) to study urokinase type plasminogen activator plasma concentration and its relationship to hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and GABA levels in autistic children (in the amount of $8,550), and (2) to study the relationship between low GAD2 levels and anti-GAD antibodies in autistic children (in the amount of $7,260), both will provide abundant opportunities for biology majors at Hartwick to complete ongoing research alongside Dr. Russo.

"We are very grateful for the ARI's support, which will help us here at Hartwick to continue to investigate the relationship between biomarkers, neurotransmitters and the causes of autism," said Russo. "Currently, students Danielle Reed '13, Eryn Niblick '13, Alyssa Becker '13 and Ashley Hunt '13 are working on projects funded by these grants and we expect even more to become involved in the upcoming semesters, thanks in large part to the additional funding from the ARI."

These grants are the second and third that Hartwick has received from the ARI since the fall of 2011.

The ARI has a 44-year track record of pioneering and leadership in the autism field. The Institute provides families and professionals with the information needed for making informed choices, in order to better the lives of individuals of all ages on the autism spectrum. ARI accomplishes these goals by conducting and sponsoring cutting-edge research and by disseminating these findings in many languages for the benefit of researchers and families worldwide.

For additional information, contact Russo at 607-431-4732 or at

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Valerie Capullo
Phone: 607-431-4031