The Negev Autism Center is composed of scientists from Ben Gurion University (BGU) and physicians from Soroka Medical Center, who study, diagnose, and treat autism and other developmental disorders in the Israeli Negev (southern district of Israel). The center was initiated in 2015 with an initial focus on building the first regional autism database in Israel and the entire middle east. Today, the database contains comprehensive information from over 400 children who were referred to Soroka with a suspicion of autism. This data includes a wide variety of clinical, behavioral, genetic, neuroimaging, and other measures from both the referred children and their parents. We continue to recruit approximately 150 new families annually and collect longitudinal data during annual follow up visits. Our current focus is on expanding the types of data that are collected from each child and their family while strengthening the clinical and scientific partnership that we have formed at the center.
The main goal of the Negev Autism Center is to understand the underlying biology of autism and utilize this understanding to develop new therapies and technological aids. Since autism is not a single disorder, but rather a family of distinct biological disorders, we apply inter-disciplinary research to examine the collected data in an effort to identify homogeneous autism subgroups that may benefit from specific treatments.