Dr. DeSoto wrote, as directed, to the contact person at NIH, believing that her proposed research project was an excellent match for the target.
(04-MH-101* Autism: Addressing the challenge. Target research gap areas identified by the Inter-Agency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) Strategic Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorder Research, including biomarkers, novel interventions, and new tools for screening, among other topics. Contact: Dr. Ann E. Wagner, 301-443-5944, email@example.com
[Note: Ann E Wagner is currently a branch chief at NIMH, the part of NIH directly that houses the IACC]
Dr. DeSoto writes, "From my read, out of the 181 page NIH document and hundreds of their RFA's, this was quite clearly the only possible match for what I wanted to do, which was to measure environmental exposure both environmentally and via biomarkers, among children with and without autism, and compare to symptom expression which could suggest strategies for intervention."
NIH's response:"This work (while extremely significant) would not be a high priority for the NIMH."
Yet they continue to fund next-to-useless research on genetics (there is no "autism" gene), eye contact (um, we already know that autistic children have great difficulty with eye contact), etc.