As part of a UNC NeuroSpark event, four research teams at the UNC School of Medicine won $25,000 pilot grants with the goal of increasing collaborations throughout the neurosciences.
As part of the Forward Together Strategic Plan, the UNC School of Medicine committed $100,000 in 2022 to fund pilot neuroscience research projects. The funding will increase collaborations in the neurosciences and incentivize faculty to generate pilot data for use in grants to the NIH and other external agencies. This is the third year of a five-year commitment for NeuroSpark from the School of Medicine.
Six neuroscience research teams at the School of Medicine competed for four $25,000 pilot grants. Each team gave a 12-minute pitch. Following the presentations, attendees voted for the top four projects. The four teams that received the most votes were selected as winners.
The event was attended by graduate students, postdocs, lab members and faculty.
The winning teams are:
“Serum biomarker testing to guide clinical management in severe traumatic brain injury”
Brian Sindelar, associate professor, neurosurgery; and Dawn Kernagis, assistant professor, neurosurgery
“Starry Night: The Role of Astrocyte-Synapse Interactions in Sleep”
Katie Baldwin, assistant professor, cell biology and physiology; and Graham Diering, assistant professor, cell biology and physiology
“Spatial signatures of brain health and vulnerability in aging and Alzheimer’s disease”
Todd Cohen, associate professor, neurology; and Natalie Stanley, assistant professor, computer science
“Defining how somatosensory neuron stimulation triggers herpes virus reactivation”
Helen Lazear, assistant professor, microbiology and immunology; and Greg Scherrer, associate professor, cell biology and physiology, pharmacology