Fay/Frank Seed Grants

Since 1981, the Brain Research Foundation has awarded over 600 research grants, totaling more than $12.5 million. That’s over 600 crucial steps toward the goal of improving the lives of those affected by neurological disorders and their families.

In 2016, the Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant Program funded critical research in 12 areas of neuroscience. Please see below how they’ll contribute to the field of neuroscience.

2016 Seed Grant Award Winners
Chemogenetic dissection of sex-specific fear circuits
Rebecca M. Shansky, Ph.D.
Northeastern University
Decoding the Molecular Regulators of Synaptic Integrity
Melanie A. Samuel, Ph.D.
Baylor College of Medicine
Lighting up Astrocytes: Neuromodulator Activation in the Cerebral Cortex
Kira E. Poskanzer, Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco
Brain somatic mutations at ASD-associated genetic loci
Kenneth Y. Kwan, Ph.D.
University of Michigan
In vivo CRISPR Screening for Modifiers of Mutant Huntingtin Levels
Myriam Heiman, Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Optoglial modulation of inhibition and seizure susceptibility
Catherine A. Christian, Ph.D.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Develop the sonogenetic method to manipulate the activity of mammalian neurons in vivo
Sreekanth H. Chalasani, Ph.D.
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Establishing a stem cell-based functional characterization of NRXN1-mutations from psychosis patients
Kristen J. Brennand, Ph.D.
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Success Stories

The following stories are only a sample of the progress Brain Research Foundation has enabled in the field of neuroscience. Every day, we’re helping researchers work toward important scientific discoveries that broaden the scope of our understanding.

Progranulin deficiency and neuronal-microglial interactions in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disease
2013 Seed Grant
Aimee Kao, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Neurology
University of California, San Francisco
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Functional characterization of genes associated with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder using mouse models
2013 Seed Grant
Stephanie Dulawa, Ph.D.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience
The University of Chicago
Processing Emotion – Depression and Drug Addiction
Optogenetic induction of phasic pauses in dopamine signaling in awake, behaving rats
2012 Seed Grant
Mitchell Roitman, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
University of Illinois Chicago
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Validation of synaptic targets in autism spectrum disorders
2011 Seed Grant
Peter Penzes, Ph.D.
Department of Physiology
Northwestern University
Adult Brain Neurogenesis
Regulation of Neural Stem Cells by Amyloid Precursor Protein Metabolites in the Adult Brain
2011 Seed Grant
Orly Lazarov, Ph.D.
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
University of Illinois at Chicago
Ischemic Stroke
Could HuR, a regulator of growth factor mRNAs, improve outcome after ischemic stroke?
2011 Seed Grant
Agnieszka Ardelt, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Neurology
University of Chicago
Sleep Disorders and Neurodegenerative Diseases
Circadian Clocks and Neurodegeneration
2011 Seed Grant
Ravi Allada, M.D.
Department of Neurobiology and Physiology
Northwestern University
Role of TRIP8b in Epilepsy
2010 Seed Grant
Dane Chetkovich, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Neurology
Northwestern University
Stress and Depression
Chronic stress is a potent triggering factor in depression and other psychiatric illnesses
2009 Seed Grant
Jeremy Amiel Rosenkranz, Ph.D.
Rosalind Franklin University
Alzheimer’s and Epilepsy
Identifying "silent seizures" in Alzheimer's patients and seeking novel ways to use anti-seizure medications
2009 Seed Grant
Dean M. Hartley, Ph.D.
Rush University
Deciphering the Roles of DISC1 Isoforms in Embryonic Brain Development
2009 Seed Grant
Jill Morris, Ph.D.
Children’s Memorial Research Center
Harsh Parenting and Mental Disorders
Functional Neurobiology of Harsh Maternal Parenting
2009 Seed Grant
Benjamin Lahey, Ph.D.
The University of Chicago
Neuronal Mechanisms of Visual Category Learning and Recognition
2008 Seed Grant
David Freedman, Ph.D.
University of Chicago
Brain Function
Genetic Mapping of DNA Methylation Regulators in Human Cerebellum
2008 Seed Grant
Chunyu Liu, Ph.D.
University of Chicago
Comprehending the Organization and Function of the Nervous System
Experimental and computational studies of pan-neuronal gene regulation
2007 Seed Grant
Ilya Ruvinsky, Ph.D.
The University of Chicago
Genetic Influences on Behavior
A pilot study of genetic and environmental influences on amygdala, orbital medial prefrontal cortex and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex activation: a twin study of fMRI
2007 Seed Grant
Kristen Jacobson, Ph.D.
The University of Chicago
Brain Tumors
Manipulate the Immune System to Destroy Brain Tumors
2006 Seed Grant
Maciej S. Lesniak, M.D.
University of Chicago
Nicotine Addiction
Behavioral and Dopaminergic Sensitization by Nicotine
2006 Seed Grant
Paul Vezina, Ph.D
The University of Chicago
Sleep Disruption
Improving the sleep and circadian rhythms of mechanically ventilated patients
2006 Seed Grant
Brian K. Gehlbach, M.D.
The University of Chicago

Fay/Frank Seed Grants Archive