Autism Speaks: Delsia Web Site Info | October 2012 #AutisticHistory #StopBigAutism #AutismMarket


[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]


Welcome to Delivering Scientific Innovation for Autism LLC (DELSIA)

Autism Speaks established Delivering Scientific Innovation for Autism (DELSIA) in 2012 as a non-for-profit affiliate. DELSIA was created as an innovative funding vehicle that works to improve outcomes for individuals with autism by ensuring scientific breakthroughs are developed into products that improve the quality of life and health for individuals with autism.

DELSIA’s mission is to serve as a catalyst by facilitating and accelerating the delivery of products that can improve health and quality of life for individuals with autism.

Our Mission

To transform lives by ensuring that scientific breakthroughs in the field of autism research move out of the laboratory and into the real world in the form of products that improve health and quality of life for individuals with autism.

Our Team

Chairman of the Board of Managers – Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D., F.A.P.A., F.A.P.S.

Dr. Dawson holds a dual role as DELSIA’s board chair and Autism Speaks’ chief science officer, providing overall leadership for Autism Speaks science programs and initiatives. Dr. Dawson is a professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina and the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities. Prior to joining Autism Speaks, Dr. Dawson was a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Washington and founding director of the university’s Autism Center. There she led an NIH-funded, multi-disciplinary autism research program focusing on genetics, neuroimaging, diagnosis and treatment, as well as a diagnostic and treatment center for children from infancy through late adolescence.

President – Robert H. Ring, Ph.D. 

Dr. Ring holds a dual role as DELSIA’s president and Autism Speaks’ vice president for translational research.. Prior to joining Autism Speaks in 2011, Dr. Ring served as senior director and head of the Autism Research Unit at Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development, in Groton, Conn. Prior to Pfizer, Dr. Ring gained a decade experience in psychiatric drug discovery and development at Wyeth Research, in Princeton, N.J. Dr. Ring holds adjunct faculty appointments in psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and in pharmacology and physiology at Drexel University College of Medicine.

Treasurer – Daniel G. Smith, Ph.D. 

Dr. Smith holds a dual role as DELSIA’s treasurer and Autism Speaks’ senior director of discovery neuroscience. In his dual roles, Dr. Smith oversees a portfolio of targeted projects and research grant programs that facilitate the discovery and development of treatments and diagnostic tools to address the unmet clinical needs of individuals living with autism. Prior to joining Autism Speaks, Dr. Smith served with Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development as senior principal scientist and laboratory head in the Autism Research Unit and acting head of autism and neurodevelopment. Prior to Pfizer, Dr. Smith served as principal scientist and laboratory head at Lundbeck Research USA, Inc.

Board of Managers Members

Gary W. Goldstein, M.D. 

Dr. Goldstein is the president and chief executive officer of Kennedy Krieger Institute, in Baltimore, Md. He is also a professor of neurology and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a professor of environmental health sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. Dr. Goldstein is also a member of the Autism Speaks Board of Directors.

Adrian M. Jones

Mr. Jones is a managing director at Goldman Sachs, in New York, in the company’s principal investment area. He joined Goldman Sachs in 1994 as an associate of the Investment Banking Division. He also served in the company’s communications and media department on mobility assignments in equity capital markets and in the executive office of Goldman Sachs International, in London. Mr. Jones grew up in Ireland and served as a lieutenant in the Irish Army. In 1987 and 1988, he served in the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Southern Lebanon. Mr. Jones is a 1986 graduate of University College in Galway and earned his MBA from Harvard in 1994. He is the father of a child with autism. Mr. Jones is also a member of the Autism Speaks Board of Directors.

Our Funding Approach

Who do we work with? DELSIA works with partners in the for-profit sector to fund development activities that are best positioned to deliver products aligned with the diverse unmet medical and behavioral health needs of the autism community.

What do we fund? DELSIA funding priorities target development opportunities in the following product categories:

  • Medical products such as biomarkers, diagnostics, medicines and therapeutic devices
  • Assistive technologies including software and applications for tablet platforms such as the iPad
  • Enabling technology, including products and services required to facilitate the development of the processes required to bring new medical products through regulatory approval

What organizations do we fund? DELSIA accepts funding proposals from and provides financial awards to for-profit entities that include, but are not limited to:

  • Entrepreneurs and start-up companies
  • Computer/electronic technology companies
  • Software developers
  • Biotechnology companies
  • Life Sciences companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the source of DELSIA’s funding? DELSIA operates exclusively on financial support provided through investments from Autism Speaks. Supplemental grants may also be approved to DELSIA by the Autism Speaks Board of Directors from time to time to act on unexpected opportunities.

Will DELSIA raise its own funds? Can donors give directly to DELSIA? No. Currently DELSIA does not accept financial gifts or donations, nor does it engage in fundraising activities to support its activities.

How can I support DELSIA? Donors are encouraged to support the mission of DELSIA by donating to Autism Speaks and can restrict gifts to specifically fund DELSIA operations and projects.

What is the relationship between DELSIA and Autism Speaks? DELSIA was established as a not-for-profit limited liability corporation (LLC) that operates in a coordinated and synergistic fashion with the rest of Autism Speaks’ science program. A majority of the DELSIA Board of Managers also serve as directors on the Autism Speaks’ Board. Key leadership positions in DELSIA – including the chair of the board, president and treasurer are held by members of Autism Speaks’ science leadership.

Will DELSIA pursue financial compensation if awards to partners lead to commercial success? Yes. The primary goal of DELSIA is to create value for our community in the form of progress towards delivering products to market that align with unmet needs and transform outcomes for individuals with autism. The goal is not to generate financial revenue for DELSIA, which is why we commonly refer to ourselves as a venture philanthropy organization. We do, however, believe that DELSIA should be allowed to share in the commercial success of partners when our financial leadership has enabled them to bring a new product to market.

When royalty terms are pursued with awards, they would be modest and structured in a way that would not complicate or confuse the non-profit nature of our mission.

How large is DELSIA’s annual budget? DELSIA does not disclose prospective annual operating budgets or the scale of its investment fund.


Press Releases

Autism Speaks awards $2 million grant to Delivering Scientific Innovation for Autism LLC (DELSIA) for partnership with Seaside Therapeutics to Develop Innovative Autism Treatments

December 03, 2012

Autism Speaks and Delivering Scientific Innovation for Autism, LLC (DELSIA), its non-profit affiliate, announced today a partnership between DELSIA and Seaside Therapeutics (Cambridge, Mass.) that aims to discover biomarkers that can be used to facilitate the development of safe, effective and personalized treatments of autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Autism Speaks Creates Delivering Scientific Innovation for Autism (DELSIA) to accelerate development of products from autism research

October 25, 2012

Autism Speaks announced the formation of Delivering Scientific Innovation for Autism (DELSIA) an independent not-for-profit affiliate of Autism Speaks that will work directly with for-profit sector partners to stimulate the conversion of scientific research from the lab into products needed by both the autism and medical communities. 


New Science, Fresh Hope for Autism

January 17, 2013

Reuters publishes special report on the early promise of experiment drugs to treat autism

When Jack was up there with the other performers, the noise, the lights, the crowd almost always got to him, and he would “start spinning,” wandering around the stage or turning in circles, Lynn says. “It usually turned into an embarrassing situation,” she adds.

But at a dance performance at Jack’s Scottsdale, Arizona, school last December, something was different. “He was half a beat behind in the dance, but he did the whole thing,” Neil says. “He participated and took the bow with his class.”

Afterward, Jack’s teacher greeted the Balters in tears. “I don’t know what is going on with this kid, but there is this miracle happening and I have a different kid at school,” she told the Balters.

In a newly published special report, Reuters spotlights the promising results of early clinical trials of the drug arbaclofen for autism-related social impairments. These early trials involve individuals with fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited cause of autism. However, research suggests that arbaclofen may have similar benefits for children and adults with other forms of autism as well. Last month, Autism Speaks’ not-for-profit affiliate DELSIA announced a targeted partnership with Seaside Therapeutics, the biotech company developing the medicine. The partnership supports the discovery of biomarkers for the development of safe, effective and personalized treatments for autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

The special report also highlights Autism Speaks participation in EU-AIMS, the world’s largest research program facilitating the development of medicines for autism. (Read more about these efforts here and here.)

In the opening narrative of the report, readers meet the Balter family, whose son participated in a recent arbaclofen clinical trial. The Balters are also former co-chairs of Autism Speaks Arizona Walk, and their son’s team is the Arizona Walk’s current No. 1 fundraiser.

Read the full Reuters special report here ….

Autism Investment Conference

January 09, 2013

World’s first conference promoting entrepreneurship, business development and investment in the field of autism 

Autism Speaks Funds First DELSIA Award

December 03, 2012

DELSIA to form partnership with Seaside Therapeutics to support work on biomarkers for the safe development of ASD treatments.

DELSIA: A New Venture to Transform Lives

October 25, 2012

A letter from Autism Speaks President Elizabeth Feld and Chief Science Officer Geraldine Dawson.

Media Inquiries

Contact Us

1060 State Road
Princeton, NJ
08540 USA
Fax 609-430-9505
General information (
Press/media inquiries and requests (

More With Delsia


Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid. 

ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.

The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t workIn study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work. 

What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.

The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth. 

The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome. 

This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.

Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.

Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.

Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.

[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]

Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.

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