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Harvard / MIT Joint Research Grants Program in Basic Neuroscience

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This research grants program supports collaborative research in basic neuroscience.

Proposals for innovative, high risk, basic neuroscience research are invited from principal investigators from across the Harvard and MIT communities.

The program is intended to forge collaborations between PIs who have not previously worked together. Collaborations involving at least two PIs from different departments and ideally from different institutions are particularly encouraged.




2013 Competition:

Twenty-nine proposals were received from a total of 61 principal investigators from 15 institutions and schools. On February 3rd, 2014 the program SAB met and selected the following five winners.

Congratulations go to:

Thomas Schwarz (F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center, BCH) and Samara Reck-Peterson (Dept. of Cell Biology, HMS) for their proposal:  A Novel Protein Photo-Inactivation Method to Probe Intracellular Transport.

John Asaad (Dept. of Neurobiology, HMS) and Emery Brown (Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT) for their proposal:  Revealing functional connectivity in local cortical circuits by causality analysis.

Chinfei Chen (F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center, BCH) and Mark Andermann (Div. of Endocrinology, Dept. of Medicine, BIDMC) for their proposal:  Visualizing plasticity of retinogeniculate axonal arbors in awake mice.

Rosalind Segal (Dept. of Cancer Biology and Pediatric Oncology, DFCI) and Myriam Heiman (Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT, Picower and Broad Institute) for their proposal:  Neurotrophin Regulation of Axonal Translation.

Sandeep Robert Datta (Dept. of Neurobiology, HMS) and Ryan Adams (School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, HU) for their proposal:  New Methods for Social Behavior Analysis.

2012 Competition:

Thirty-three proposals were received from a total of 75 principal investigators from 16 institutions and schools. On October 4th, 2012 the program SAB met and selected the following five winners.

Congratulations go to:

Chenghua Gu (Dept. of Neurobiology, HMS) and Xiaoyin Xu (Dept. of Radiology, BWH) for their proposal: An integrated approach to elucidate the fundamental principles of cortical neurovascular unit formation and plasticity.

Zhigang He (Dept. of Neurology, Boston Children’s Hospital) and Guoping Feng (McGovern Institute, MIT) for their proposal: An in vivo imaging model to assess axon regeneration and functional reconnection in the adult CNS.

Yi Zhang
(Cellular & Molecular Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital) and Feng Zhang (The Broad Institute) for their proposal: Epigenetic mechanism of brain reward and drug addiction.

Jesse Gray (Dept. of Genetics, HMS) and Manolis Kellis (Dept. of Computer Science, MIT) for their proposal: High-throughput analysis of human brain enhancers.

David Clapham (Dept. of Neurobiology, HMS) and Stephen Elledge (Medicine/Genetics, BWH) for their proposal: Promoting endogenous GABergic analgesia via manipulation of neuronal ion gradients: an shRNA screen for Kcc2 PhosphoRegulators (K2PRs).


Each winning proposal will receive $100,000 per year for each of two years.




2011 Competition:

Thirty-two proposals were received and the program's Scientific Advisory Board met early October 2011 and selected the following five winners.

Congratulations go to:

Bernardo Sabatini (Dept. of Neurobiology, HMS) and Rudolph Jaenisch (Whitehead Institute & Dept. of Biology, MIT) for their proposal: A genetically defined human neuronal model of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex.

Stephen Liberles (Dept. of Cell Biology, HMS) and Bradford Lowell (BIDMC) for their proposal: Molecular and genetic analysis of the vagus nerve.

Alexander Schier (Dept. of Molecular & Cellular Biology, Harvard FAS) and Constance Cepko (Dept. of Genetics, HMS) for their proposal: Circuit analysis by transsynaptic labeling with vesticular stomatitis virus vectors.

Rebecca Saxe (Dept. of Brain & Cognitive Sciences, MIT) and Anne Fulton (Dept. of Opthamology, Children's Hospital) for their proposal: Development of cross modal plasticity in occipital cortex of blind children. 

Richard Masland (Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary) and Sebastian Seung (Dept. of Brain & Cognitive Sciences, MIT) for their proposal: Retinal ganglion cells: high throughput imaging. 

 




2010 Competition:
 

Fifty-eight proposals were received from a total of 128 principal investigators from twelve institutions.

The program's Scientific Advisory Board met October 2010 to select five winners.

Michela Fagiolini (Dept. of Neurology, Children's Hospital) and Elly Nedivi (Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, MIT) for their proposal: Role of activity-dependent gene cpg15 in development and plasticity of visual cortical circuits.

Norbet Perrimon (Dept. of Genetics, HMS) and Troy Littleton (Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, MIT) for their proposal: Systematic RNAi analysis of synaptic trafficking pathways at drosophila synapses.

Ed Boyden (Dept. of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT) and Aravinthan Samuel (Dept. of Physics, Harvard FAS) for their proposal: Optogenetic strategies for powering neurons without oxidative phosphorylation.

Florian Engert (Dept. of Molecular & Cellular Biology, Harvard FAS) and Adam Cohen (Dept. of Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Harvard FAS) for their proposal: Design and implementation of a new proteorhodopsin-based genetically encoded voltage indicator.

George Church (Dept. of Genetics, HMS), Matthew Frosch (Dept. Neuropathology, MGH) and Merit Cudkowicz (Dept. of Neurology, MGH) and their colleagues Michael Chou (HMS) and Robert Brown (UMass) for their proposal: The role of somatic mutation in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. 



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