Brain Research Foundation Targets Cognition And Neurodevelopmental Disorders With Two New Scientific Innovations Award Grants


CHICAGO, March 12, 2019 — Research that explores the relationship between brain dopamine signals and brain rhythms, areas theorized to affect brain cognition, will now be supported by a Scientific Innovations Award (SIA) grant from Brain Research Foundation (BRF). Vikaas S. Sohal, Ph.D., at the University of California, San Francisco, is one of two 2019 BRF SIA recipients. He is investigating how changes in brain rhythms at critical moments during cognitive tasks may help the brain normally learn new behaviors. This understanding may provide insight into the cognitive problems associated with neuropsychiatric disease, including schizophrenia. The second SIA recipient is Michael E. Talkowski, Ph.D., at Harvard. He is investigating what the regulatory impact of structural changes to three-dimensional genome organization has on genes expressed in early brain development and associated with severe neurodevelopmental abnormalities that occur in disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

“Too many families are touched by the debilitating effects of neurological disorders. This year’s SIA recipients share laudable traits of identifying novel and compelling mechanisms to investigate their hypotheses,” stated Terre A. Constantine, Ph. D., Executive Director and CEO of Brain Research Foundation. “These two laboratories are expanding knowledge of how the brain operates, offering potentially valuable insights into brain disorders that may eventually lead to new treatment options.”

The SIA grants were specifically designed by BRF to support innovative research in both basic and clinical neuroscience, and to help address an unmet need for creative, cutting-edge research in well-established research laboratories. Some promising research initiatives are unfunded or underfunded because they do not meet a traditional funding profile; they are viewed as too innovative or speculative. BRF assesses candidate projects from proven, high-performing labs and provides two-year funding to those assessed to have a high likelihood of producing important findings in a short timeframe. It is expected that investigations supported by these grants will yield high impact findings and result in further major awards as well as publication in respected scientific journals. 

Descriptions of the 2019 SIA grants as well as information about the SIA program are available at the BRF website.

About Brain Research Foundation

Brain Research Foundation supports neuroscience research that leads to advanced understanding of brain function in children and adults. This Foundation is committed to advance discoveries that will lead to novel treatments and prevention of all neurological diseases.  We deliver this commitment through research grant programs – which provide initial funding for innovative research projects – and educational programs for researchers and the general public. 

Deborah Schneider


SOURCE Brain Research Foundation

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