Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that the UNC Autism Research Center was ranked 2nd in the world in peer-reviewed autism research. As of April 8, it is 4th. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.
The UNC Autism Research Center launched a $10 million campaign earlier this month to raise awareness of and rally support for the center.
The campaign, #LightUNCBlue, kicked off on World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, and will continue throughout the month of April. April is National Autism Awareness Month, and was created in 1970 to push for widespread understanding and acceptance of individuals with autism spectrum disorder.
"There are actually quite a few students with autism who are going to school at UNC, living in the dorms," said Allison Zoller, the project manager at the center. "Hopefully by raising more awareness of their presence and raising more awareness of what the center plans to do to support individuals with autism and help identify autism earlier, the more the autism community will benefit from it."
UNC is currently ranked 4th in the world in peer-reviewed research on autism. Presently, peer-reviewed autism research has been conducted in five schools, across 32 departments at UNC. Following the direction of academia and other healthcare interests alike, UNC hopes to pursue more interdisciplinary research on ASD.