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Video: NIH director bemoans 'lack of trust' in autism field

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Virginia Hughes
20 October 2009

On Saturday, a top government official resigned from the Interagency Autism Coordination Committee (IACC), the body of scientists and advocates that's responsible for guiding all autism research funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Story Landis, director of the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, stepped down from the IACC after notes that she had passed to someone else at a 30 September IACC meeting were leaked to the Age of Autism blog. The blog published the text of her notes and called for her resignation.

According to the blog, Landis's notes questioned whether Lyn Redwood, a parent member of the IACC “is pushing autism as multisystem disorder to feed into vaccine injury?”

In her letter to the other members of the committee, published by the Huffington Post on Sunday, Landis wrote that her actions were "unprofessional" and "eroded trust at a time when we need to build stronger ties across government and the community."

The next day, at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago, SFARI asked Landis's boss, NIH head Francis Collins, for his take on the incident. Collins replied that this is "just one example of the tension and lack of trust" within the autism community.

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Comments

Name: S. Sullivan
21 October 2009 - 1:03AM

Ms. Hughes,

thank you very much for posting this video.

It is sad to hear that this event has caused a stir all the way up to the director's office.

I frankly am embarrassed by how Dr. Landis was treated by the blogger at the Age of Autism. It shows a lack of trust and respect.

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