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Seed Funding

seed funding review

The UVA Brain Institute offers a seed funding program for cross-grounds collaborative research projects. The purpose of this program is to bring neuroscience investigators together to tackle important questions and perform transformative work that will differentiate our research enterprise. It is anticipated that these initiatives require diverse expertise, and involve investigative teams from a variety of disciplines and/or Schools across grounds. Proposed projects may be on any subject related to neuroscience, and those broadly related to Integrative Neuroscience, Neuro-immunology, Traumatic Brain Injury and Sensory Biology will receive special consideration. Evidence of prior collaboration is not required, and the creation of new partnerships is encouraged. Submitted proposals should provide evidence of collaborative or multidisciplinary interactions for research that are synergistic, and/or show the potential to generate transformative science.

2018 seed funded projects have already been awarded. The next call for proposals is anticipated to be in Spring 2019. Contact uvabrain@virginia.edu with questions.


Seed Funded Research in the News

Alban Gaultier, Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience led research funded by the UVA Brain Institute which found that depressive symptoms in mice could be reversed by feeding them Lactobacillus, a probiotic found in live-cultures yogurt.

Gautier Research


Seed Funded Research

3 Cavalier Awards

The UVA Brain Institute supported funding of ten neuroscience research studies through a new rapid seed funding program developed by the Office of Vice President for Research called 3 Cavaliers.

Automatic Sensing and Characterization of Social Interactions | Laura Barnes, PhD - Department of Systems and Information Engineering, Jennifer Jane Roe, PhD - Center for Design and Health, Bethany Teachman, PhD - Department of Psychology

Building an in vitro Model for Neural Tube Defects | Christine I. Thisse, PhD – Department of Cell Biology, Raymond E. Keller, PhD – Department of Biology, Xiaowei Lu, PhD – Department of Cell Biology

Effects of Perturbation of mRNA Export Pathways on Neuron Function | Marie Louise-Hammarskjold, MD, PhD – Department of Microbiology, George Bloom, PhD – Department of Biology, David Rekosh, PhD – Department of Microbiology

Generation and characterization of a preclinical model to study DDX3X disorder | Sanchita Bhatnagar, PhD – Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Michael Wormington, PhD – Department of Biology, Howard Goodkin, MD, PhD – Department of Neurology

Genetic Dissection of Vagal Motor Circuits Controlling Heart Function | John Campbell, PhD – Department of Biology, Hui Zong, PhD – Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology, Patrice G. Guyenet, PhD – Department of Pharmacology

Genetically-Encoded Norepinephrine Sensors | Jun J Zhu, PhD – Department of Pharmacology, Jill Venton, PhD – Department of Chemistry, Wendy Lynch, PhD – Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences

Harnessing the Wandering Mind | Zachary Irving, PhD - Department of Philosophy, James Coan, PhD - Department of Psychology, Sonam Kachru, PhD - Department of Religious Studies

Modeling Cerebral Reperfusion Injury using Photoacoustic Microscopy and Oxygen-Sensing Nanoparticles | Yashar Sorena Kalani, MD, PhD – Department of Neurosurgery, Song Hu – Department of Biomedical Engineering , Shayn Peirce-Cottler, PhD – Department of Biomedical Engineering

Neuromuscular Pedicle for Improved Functional Outcome of Novel Muscle Regeneration Scaffolds | Patrick Cottler, PhD – Department of Plastic Surgery, Chris Highley, PhD – Department of Biomedical Engineering, George Joseph Christ, PhD – Department of Biomedical Engineering

Role of Innate Immunity in Impaired Neurodevelopment during Zika Virus Infection | Young Hahn, PhD – Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology, Kevin Janes, PhD – Department of Biomedical Engineering, Chia-Yi Kuan, PhD – Department of Neuroscience

2018 Awards

A novel anti-obesity target: Dopamine signaling in the central circadian pacemaker | Ali Guler, PhD – Department of Biology, Michael Scott, PhD– Department of Pharmacology

A novel model for dyslexia and other language-processing disorders | C Daniel Meliza, PhD – Department of Psychology, Christopher Deppmann, PhD – Department of Biology, Mark Beenhakker, PhD – Department of Pharmacology

Concussion induced inflammation: A clinical and mechanistic study | Joshua Easter, MD – Department of Emergency Medicine, Donna Broshek, PhD – Department of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences, Howard Goodkin, MD, PhD - Department of Neurology, John Lukens, PhD - Department of Neuroscience, Kiel Neumann, PhD-Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging, Matthew Panzer, PhD – Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Jacob Resch, PhD – Department of Kinesiology

Cross-linking antibody tetramers (CATs) to localize and activate immune cell subsets for cancer therapy | Benjamin Purow , MD – Department of Neurology (Neuro-Oncology), Tajie Harris – Department of Neuroscience

Facilitating axon regeneration by boosting glial-mediated phagocytosis | Sarah Kucenas, PhD – Department of Biology, Kodi Ravichandran, MD, PhD – Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology

Individual variability in the oxytocinergic system and the development of human sociality | James Morris, PhD – Department of Psychology, Angeline Lillard, PhD– Department of Psychology, Jessica Connelly, PhD– Department of Psychology

Investigation of Recurrent Brain Cancer using Dynamic FDG PET Imaging | Bijoy Kundu, PhD – Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging, David Schiff, MD – Department of Neurology (Neuro-Oncology), Patrice Rehm, MD– Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging, Thomas Muttikkal, MD– Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging

Genetically Encoded Dopamine Sensors | Julius Zhu, PhD – Department of Pharmacology, Wendy Lynch, PhD– Department of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences

Role of Epigenetics on Early Child Development in Bangladesh | William Petri, MD, PhD – Department of Medicine (Infectious Disease), David Auble, PhD – Department of  Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics

Short non-coding RNAs in autism-related disorders | Anindya Dutta, PhD – Department of  Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics, John Lukens, PhD – Department of Neuroscience

2017 Awards

Understanding the contribution of the oligodendrocyte lineage to depression. | Sarah Kucenas, PhD, - Department of Biology, Christopher Overall, PhD - Department of Neuroscience, Alban Gaultier, PhD - Department of Neuroscience

Remote Suppression of Epileptic Seizures. | Ali Guler, PhD - Department of Biology, Manoj Patel - Department of Anesthesiology

Automating Glia Neuroimaging. | Daniel Weller, PhD - Department of Electrical an Computer Engineering, Christopher Overall, PhD - Department of Neuroscience, Scot Acton, PhD - Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Tajie Harris, PhD - Department of Neuroscience, Gustavo Rohde, PhD - Department of Biomedical Engineering

A Phase I Study Targeting Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma with anti-CD3 x anti-EGFR Bispecific Antibody Armed T-cells in Combination with Radiation ad Temozolomide. | Camilo Fadul, PhD - Department of Neurology, Lawrence Lum, PhD - Department of Medicine, Hematology and Oncology

SysNimDB: a public resource for characterizing neuro-immunological cell types and disease states in heterogenous trascriptomic datasets. | Christopher Overall, PhD - Departmet of Neuoscience, Quanguan Gu, PhD - Department of Computer Science, Yanjun Qi, PhD - Department of Computer Science, Abigail Flower, PhD - Department of Systems and Information Engineering

Multiscale Imaging of Cerebrovascular Dysfunction in Traumatic Brain Injury. | Song Hu, PhD - Departmentof Biomedical Engineering, Craig Meyer, PhD - Department of Biomedical Engineering, Wilson Miller, PhD - Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging

Cellular and Molecular Basis of Acoustic Nociception. | Jung-Bum Shin, PhD - Department of Neuroscience, Ali Guler, PhD - Department of Biology