• Press Release

Mount Sinai of New York and Els for Autism Foundation Join Forces to Establish Research Institute at The Els Center of Excellence in Jupiter, Florida

The newly created Seaver Els Institute will bring together personalized education, clinical research and scientific investigation for individuals and families who are affected by autism spectrum disorder

  • New York, NY
  • (April 02, 2018)

The Els for Autism Foundation announced today a joint initiative with Mount Sinai Health System of New York to create The Seaver Els Institute: an affiliation between The Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai of New York and the Els for Autism Foundation. The new research institute will be housed at The Els Center for Excellence, a world-class facility in Jupiter, Florida, founded by PGA TOUR golfer Ernie Els, Liezl Els and Marvin Shanken, that is dedicated to helping people on the autism spectrum fulfill their potential to lead positive, productive, and rewarding lives.

Scheduled to begin operations in August, 2018, The Seaver Els Institute will provide the opportunity for students, clients and families at The Els Center of Excellence to participate in research that will help advance understanding of autism spectrum disorders. There are two public charter schools on the campus, which serve students ages 3 to 21.

"We are delighted to be announcing our partnership with Mount Sinai on World Autism Awareness Day," said Marvin Shanken, Chairman and Co-Founder of The Els for Autism Foundation. "Today, we are celebrating the unique talents of people with autism with our third annual 'Awe in Autism' expo at The Els Center of Excellence in Jupiter, and being able to share the news about The Seaver Els Institute makes the day even more special." Ernie and Liezl Els, Co-Founders of the Els for Autism Foundation, added, "We are excited about the opportunity to expand our research focus area in the hopes of helping families around the world."

"Through this affiliation, we are bringing together leading-edge programs and services that the Els for Autism Foundation provides to families impacted by autism and the progressive research being conducted by experts at the internationally renowned Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai," says Kenneth L. Davis, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mount Sinai Health System of New York. "In addition to being mutually beneficial to both parties, this collaboration will result in significant breakthroughs that advance autism research and care for children, adolescents, and adults with autism spectrum disorder."

The formal affiliation will begin with a two-year pilot study to gather and analyze data on The Els Center of Excellence clients, students and their families. Initially, research will focus on evaluating the effectiveness of interventions, large-scale genetic and phenotypic data collection and promoting research at The Els Center of Excellence and the broader Florida community.

This will include both genetic and behavioral testing, as well as measurement of biological and behavioral markers using non-invasive tools.

To accomplish these goals, a research associate hired and trained by The Seaver Autism Center in New York will be based on site at The Els Center for Excellence in Florida to facilitate research at the new Institute, work with Els for Autism Foundation staff, and help integrate research, clinical and educational programs. Together, the Seaver Els Institute staff and leadership will establish a pipeline for genetic and behavioral testing and for measuring the effectiveness of interventions offered to clients at The Els Center of Excellence. The most advanced EEG and eye tracking equipment will be utilized to gather data in Jupiter, Florida and data analysis will take place in New York at Mount Sinai's Seaver Center, which houses one of the leading autism programs in the world. Guidance about the importance, significance, and benefits of research will be provided to all interested families.

Established in 2009 by Mr. Els and his wife shortly after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism, the Els for Autism Foundation's philanthropic project - The Els Center for Excellence - is a world-class facility that hosts game-changing programs and services accessible to families and caregivers around the world. The 26-acre campus provides on-site education for up to 300 studentswith additional programs in six focus areas: adult services, education, global outreach, recreation, research, and therapy. Through the new strategic partnership with The Seaver Autism Center, the Els Autism Foundation is advancing and elevating its research focus area.

"It is an honor to be working with the remarkable people from the Els for Autism Foundation who work tirelessly to create programs that make a positive impact on the lives of individuals on the spectrum," said Joseph D. Buxbaum, PhD, Director of The Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai of New York, who is also founder and co-leader of the Autism Sequencing Consortium, an international group of scientists who share autism samples, data, and ideas in order to accelerate our understanding of the causes and treatments of autism. "Through research efforts at The Seaver Els Institute, we will work together to expand that positive impact by advancing the best science at the fastest pace for individuals and their families and the greater autism community."


About the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai of New York

The Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai conducts progressive research studies to enhance the diagnosis of autism and related disorders, discover the biological causes of those disorders, and develop and disseminate breakthrough treatments. With a vision to be the international leaders for precision medicine in autism and related disorders, the Center bridges the gap between new discoveries in basic science and enhanced care, while ensuring the community is aware of new and improved approaches to caring for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The Seaver Autism Center was founded through the generous support of the Beatrice and Samuel A. Seaver Foundation.

For more information, visit www.seaverautismcenter.org, or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About The Els for Autism Foundation

The Els for Autism Foundation was established in 2009 by PGA TOUR golfer Ernie Els, his wife Liezl, and Marvin Shanken. The Foundation's overarching mission is to help people on the autism spectrum fulfil their potential to lead positive, productive and rewarding lives. Els for Autism has offices in the U.S., Canada, South Africa, and the UK. To help fulfil its mission, Els for Autism is building a state-of- the-art campus, The Els Center of Excellence, in Jupiter, FL, with a local, national and global reach.

Els for Autism Foundation is a US public charity (EIN #26-3520396), recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as exempt from Federal tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code. Donations can be made online at www.e4annualgiving.org and by check (made payable to 'Els for Autism') and addressed to: Els for Autism, The Els Center of Excellence, 18370 Limestone Creek Rd, Jupiter, FL 33458.

Photography: https://elsforautism.smugmug.com/2018-Photos-2/The-Seaver-Els-Institute/n-w5VCtZ/ 

About the Mount Sinai Health System

Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with 48,000 employees working across eight hospitals, more than 400 outpatient practices, more than 600 research and clinical labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time—discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.

Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 9,000 primary and specialty care physicians and 11 free-standing joint-venture centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida. Hospitals within the System are consistently ranked by Newsweek’s® “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals, Best in State Hospitals, World Best Hospitals and Best Specialty Hospitals” and by U.S. News & World Report's® “Best Hospitals” and “Best Children’s Hospitals.” The Mount Sinai Hospital is on the U.S. News & World Report® “Best Hospitals” Honor Roll for 2024-2025.

For more information, visit https://www.mountsinai.org or find Mount Sinai on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.