Published Online: January 21, 2009
Published in Print: January 21, 2009, as Autism Activist Quits Over Research Vote on Vaccine Link

News in Brief

Autism Activist Quits Over Research Vote on Vaccine Link

Alison Tepper Singer, an executive with the New York City-based Autism Speaks, resigned last week because of a disagreement with the advocacy group's stance on vaccines as a possible cause of autism.

Ms. Singer, who was the executive vice president until her Jan. 13 resignation, is a member of the federal Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, which provides input into the direction of federal research in autism.

During a Jan. 14 meeting of the committee, Ms. Singer voted with the majority to refer two vaccine-safety studies to another federal agency, rather than fund them in the current research cycle.

Autism Speaks supports further research into vaccine safety; Ms. Singer believes research money is better spent in other areas. She resigned rather than cast a vote the organization would not support, she said.

The federal research plan "can no longer be supported by the autism community," Bob Wright, a co-founder of Autism Speaks, said in a statement.

Vol. 28, Issue 18, Page 4

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