December 27, 2012 Foundation News

Brain Research Foundation Funded Researcher Awarded $6.7 Million

Dr. Ravi Allada Leads Investigation into Effects of Sleep Cycles on Age-Related Neurodegeneration
Using findings generated from research funded by a 2011 $40,000 Brain Research Foundation (BRF) seed grant, Dr. Ravi Allada was awarded a $6.7 million grant to continue work on the effects of circadian rhythms on neurodegeneration. “The data generated with the BRF Seed Grant now allows us to broaden our scope and examine the interaction between metabolic, circadian and aging timers relevant to processes such as age-related neurodegeneration,” stated Dr. Allada Department of Neurobiology Chair at Northwestern University. 
“This is another case study that demonstrates how the seed grant program for neurological research is designed to work,” stated Terre Constantine, Ph.D., Executive Director of BRF. “With a modest investment by BRF and the strong results that were produced, funding of important research can be expanded rapidly and with a high confidence level.” BRF provides seed grants to novel, early stage scientific research that would otherwise go unfunded, which puts the science at risk of not moving forward. Dr. Allada’s work adds to the emerging area of cognitive decline which has deep need for more science.
Dr. Allada’s new grant was awarded by The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency and will be awarded over four years. 
Established to help innovative neuroscience researchers gather the data required to validate their hypotheses, the BRF Seed Grants are a critical first step in understanding neurological disorders. Since 1981, BRF has awarded more than $9.6 million to fund early stage research focused on novel ideas. By enabling scientists to generate the preliminary data required for major grants, the Foundation estimates that its investments have led to a factor of ten times more funding for grantees and research.