Our Studies

Autism Clinical Trials

Please contact [email protected] or [email protected] for more information and to see if you qualify to enter the study.

ANCHOR Study (Irritability Associated with ASD; Otsuka) 

Brexpiprazole is a recently developed medication to reduce irritability associated with Autism. Includes treatment with study medication (medication or placebo) for 8 weeks for ages 5-17 followed by extension study (on medication) for 26 weeks (Enrolling now)

  • Assessment using gold standard tests and scales for the diagnosis of autism and to assess severity of irritability
  • Combination of 4 clinic visits at UCSF, 4 virtual visits and one phone visit.
  • Children can have co-existing ADHD as long as ADHD is not the primary disorder. Stimulants and Atomoxetine allowed for subjects with ADHD diagnosis.
  • There will be blood draws, ECG and testing.

Exclusion criteria: prior exposure to brexpiprazole. Certain other medications may need to be stopped prior to enrollment.

*No cost to family with compensation for time and travel

CBD Study

12 weeks of study medication (cannabidiol (Epidyolex) or placebo) for age 6-17 to evaluate change in symptoms in Autism Spectrum Disorder (Enrolling soon)

  • Assessment using gold standard tests and scales for the diagnosis of autism and to assess the severity of autism
  • 3 clinic visits to UCSF and 7 telephone visits.
  • There will be blood draws and an ECG.

Exclusion criteria: ADHD or other diagnosis that dominates the clinical presentation; seizures in the past 6 months, certain medications (e.g., Sirolimus, Clobazam, Omeprazole, Repaglinide); Current use of CBD

*No cost to family with compensation for time and travel

Axial Study (Gut Metabolite Supplementation)

8 weeks trial of study medication or placebo for age 13-17 with GI symptoms to evaluate the effects of this supplement, which coats irritating metabolites in the gut to attempt to reduce irritability in Autism.

  • 6 clinic visits to UCSF and 3 phone visits
  • There will be blood draws and ECG

Exclusion criteria: history of inflammatory bowel disease, history of diabetes, certain medications.

*No cost to family with compensation for time and travel


Dyslexia Outcome Study

Leading the way from basic neuroscience research to the classroom: individualized and strength-based approach.

Conducted in collaboration with the UCSF Dyslexia Center and and our three partnering schools, Charles Armstrong SchoolChartwell School and Athena Academy, this study tracks various emotional and social outcomes in students with dyslexia and other reading disorders.

Parents and teachers complete periodic online questionnaires measuring the child’s progress across different psychological and academic domains on a secure web-based platform developed by the UCSF research team. This information then allows us and teachers to identify important challenges and strengths for the student and develop targeted interventions to improve their academic and socio-emotional functioning.

Our goal is to translate research into personalized treatments for students with dyslexia in the school environment. Working with educators, we aim to develop best practice protocols to implement these interventions in classrooms throughout the country.

Oak Hill School Outcome Study

Providing the highest quality of care through integrating educational, medical, and psychosocial assessment and treatment individualized for each student.

This study involves the collaboration between UCSF and Oak Hill School, a non-public school for students with autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders. The purpose of this study is to develop an integrated, comprehensive, and collaborative approach to providing care to children and adolescent with autism, which is crucial to developing evidence-based targeted treatments in a school setting.

Through a partnership between UCSF and the Oak Hill School (OHS), our goal is to build a translational education/medical intervention center for people with significantly impairing neurological disorders that provides integrated, practical, school-based interventions and resilience strengthening therapies and demonstrate significantly improved outcomes.

The Oak Hill School is a therapeutic community specializing in innovative intervention for students with ASD and other neurodevelopmental differences. Our students receive individualized academic instruction tailored to their needs. Health and mental health professionals, speech and language pathologists, and occupational therapists collaborate with classroom teaching teams to implement a comprehensive, integrated program. We measure outcomes regularly and adjust the program to maximize each child’s educational, social and health functioning. Health promoting and biomedical interventions are offered to maximize each child’s ability to learn.

The UCSF medical research team has developed an easy to use, web-based outcome measurement system that makes it possible to track outcomes and better tailor interventions to the individual student. The UCSF team is partnering with parents and health care professionals to implement a health and resilience program in the school. Together, OHS and UCSF are pioneering collaborative and personalized research and innovation to improve the quality of life for our students and other students like them.