The Autistica Network is the UK's largest autism research network. Through the activities of the Autistica Network we support researchers and the community to come together to undertake highly impact autism research.
What does the Autistica Network do?
The Autistica Network focuses on four activities to support high quality autism research. These are:
The Network Steering Committee
The committee brings together autistic people, family members, early career researchers, established researchers, involvement experts and a range of expertise to support Autistica in the running of the Autistica Network.
Sue Bailey - Chair
Professor Dame Sue Bailey OBE DBE FRCPsych is based in the North West of England where she works as a clinician and academic. Her clinical work and research focus on complex needs of young people and their families, improving mental health care, working in partnership with service users and lobbying for rights of and better services for vulnerable young people.
Lisa Wood is the mother of William who has autism and learning difficulties. She has been involved in many projects at Autistica and, as a journalist, has written about aspects of her personal experience of autism for the charity. In her work as a journalist, she had written extensively about disability.
Dr Carole Buckley is a retired GP and currently holds the role of the Royal College of General Practitioners clinical representative for autism. Carole has an autistic son and continues to utilise her expertise to ensure that autistic people are considered in both research and strategic clinical decision.
Dr Mark Minott has been involved with Autistica since 2017 primarily in reviewing research proposals requesting the use of the Autistica database. He is a father to an autistic child and is passionate about supporting research that seeks to improve the lives of those in the Autistic community.
Dr Keren MacLennan is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Reading. Keren’s research so far has focussed on anxiety and sensory reactivity in autistic children and adults. She is passionate about public engagement and working in partnership with autistic individuals to conduct research.
Bec Hanley has over 20 years of experience within public and patient involvement, she uses this expertise to support others to develop their skills and ensure that involvement is done authentically.
Dr Laura Crane is an Associate Professor at University College London, where she is Deputy Director of the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE). Laura’s research focuses on supporting autistic people in the areas of education, healthcare and criminal justice. Central to all of Laura’s research is a commitment to conducting research with autistic people, as opposed to on, about or for them.
Professor Jeremy Parr is a Paediatric Neurodisability clinical academic working between Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Cumbria Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust. Jeremy sees young people and families in NHS clinics every week. He brings extensive experience of autism research across the lifespan, clinical trials and managing large participant studies such as the Autism Spectrum Database-UK (children and families) and the Autism Spectrum Cohort-UK (autistic adults and relatives).
Professor Francesca Happé CBE FBA FMedSci is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre at King’s College London. In a career spanning over 30 years, Francesca’s research has focused on strengths and differences in autistic cognition. Her recent work concerns mental health and historically under-researched groups on the autism spectrum, including women and the elderly.
Dr Keren MacLennan is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Reading and also works as an assistant clinical psychologist with autistic children. Her research has so far focused on anxiety and sensory reactivity in autistic children and adults.
Freddie Adu is Executive Head at Queensmill School and at Kensington Queensmill School. Freddie is an experienced leader with a passion for providing the best possible educational experiences for autistic students.