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Fostering high-impact collaboration across Grounds

The Brain Institute fosters high-impact collaboration across Grounds between basic and clinical scientists through collaborative projects, training programs, and infrastructure to allow a translational approach and an accelerated bench to bedside transition for potential treatments.

The Offices of the Vice President for Research and Provost made an initial award to establish the Brain Institute in 2016. A subsequent award for the Bold Research Advancement In Neuroscience (BRAIN) Project from the Strategic Investment Fund in 2017 allowed targeted growth in the areas of neurodegeneration, autism, focused ultrasound and epilepsy.

Over the past 5 years, the Brain Institute has invested $14.9M in infrastructure, recruitment, and seed funding across Grounds to transform neuroscience research at UVA from a collection of individual labs and investigators to multidisciplinary, nationally recognized research programs. More than 140 faculty across 7 schools and 35 departments at the University have received seed funding, recruitment & retention support, and equipment from the Brain Institute investments. 

The outcome of these investments has been substantial. Over 230 publications and presentations and 200 extramural funding proposals have resulted from Brain Institute supported projects. More than 1000 human subjects have been enrolled in neuroscience studies of autism, brain injury, epilepsy, glioblastoma, stroke, neurodevelopment, and neurodegeneration by Brain Institute and BRAIN pilot-funded teams. 

The Brain Institute continues to build on the momentum generated by these investments and by the engagement of the neuroscience community of excellence at UVA. Through a new commitment from the Strategic Investment Fund, the Brain Institute is leading part of the Grand Challenges Research Investments in Brain and Neuroscience (GCRI-BN). This initiative enables neuroscience research through seed funding and other infrastructure awards, supports collaborative training opportunities for trainees, and allows us to offer a growing portfolio of research support services to build on the preeminence of neuroscience research at the University.