genetics

John Hussman: Cracking the autism code

April 26, 2011: 5:00 AM ET

Investor John Hussman has used intense research to build a strong record at the $6 billion Hussman Strategic Growth fund. Now he's using those same skills to take on autism.

By Scott Cendrowski, writer-reporter

John Hussman

Hussman's breakthrough findings were published in a journal called Molecular Autisim.

John Hussman lives by research. It's how he analyzed markets as an economics professor. It's how he returned 5% annually over the past decade (and beat the S&P 500) at his eponymous $6 billion mutual fund. It's how he predicted a recession in late 2007 (and why he thinks stocks are overpriced today). And it's how he's attacking an unusual adversary for a fund manager: autism.

Over the past 15 years Hussman, 48, has thrown himself into understanding the disorder -- ever since his son, J.P., was diagnosed with it as a child. Because the vast majority of cases show a family link (a relative on J.P.'s mother's side is autistic), Hussman has focused on its genetic causes. Almost completely self-taught, he's spent nights and family vacations poring over obscure scientific textbooks (he says he's Amazon.com's best customer) and research abstracts. He not only funded a genomics center at the University of Miami, but has spent years collaborating with scientists there. More

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