Welcome to ACE

The Autism Center of Excellence (ACE) and Healthy Infant Development Laboratory is dedicated to discovering the causes of autism and paving the way for more effective autism treatment. We focus on research to help identify what autism looks like in babies as young as 12 months. Read More

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Concerned Your Child Has Autism? 

Does your child have Autism?

A recent CDC report (2014) notes that 1 in 68 children born each year will be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Are you concerned your child might be one of them?

Video Highlights 

  • CARTA: Human Origins

    Lessons from Autism Spectrum Disorders - Karen Pierce: The Early Identification of Autism: Examinations of Brain and Behavior

  • CARTA: Human Origins

    Lessons from Autism Spectrum Disorders - Eric Courchesne: Surprising Findings in Autism: Insights into Anthropogeny?

  • New Autism Study

    Dr. Eric Courchesne, UC San Diego Autism Center of Excellence, and Dr. Michael S. Nelson, Kaiser Permanente, talk with KPBS.

  • Center of Autism Excellence

    Groundbreaking research on autism being done by Eric Courchesne and Karen Pierce at UC San Diego Autism Center of Excellence.

  • Causes, Screening, Treatment

    Eric Courchesne and Karen Pierce discuss advances in autism causes, screening and Treatment.

  • Autism & Brain Overgrowth

    UC San Diego's Dr. Eric Courchesne explains how an overabundance of neurons in the front cortex of the brain leads to autism.

  • Underlying Brain Biology

    Dr. Eric Courchesne, keynote speaker at IMFAR, describes the underlying brain biology of autism.

  • Autism Research Today

    Autism Research Today on Dateline. Watch Video on MSNBC.

News & Events 

Gene expression study demonstrates biomarkers with good sensitivity and specificity for boys with ASD can be identified in pediatric settings. Paper published in JAMA Psychiatry  on March 4, 2015.

ACE brain study shows that autism begins during pregnancy. Paper was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on March 27, 2014. 
Learn more | See a video


Research by ACE Director Eric Courchesne and other researchers at ACE and elsewhere points to increased neurons in the prefrontal cortex of children with autism. Learn more | See a video

ACE researchers have identified a possible early identifier of autism: an impairment in the ability of the brain's right and left hemispheres to communicate with each other. Learn more.

The One-Year Well-Baby Check Up Approach developed by ACE Assistant Director Karen Pierce helps pediatricians screen autism early, which leads to earlier intervention. Learn more.

To view upcoming conferences and lectures of Drs. Courchesne &  Pierce, please see our Events page.




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Autism Research 

Research Programs at the UC San Diego Autism Center of Excellence are contributing to the overall understanding of autism spectrum disorder.

Latino Outreach Program

Funded by NFAR.
NFAR funds Free Developmental Evaluations for Spanish-Speaking Toddlers



Need To Train Typical Kids How to Play with Children With Autism?

 Give the Peer Manual to the typical peer and use the Teacher Manual to help the adult understand how to run the play sessions