SIF118 Bold Research Advancement in Neuroscience (BRAIN)

Project Manager: Jaideep Kapur, SOM

The purpose of this project is to build on research strengths and create centers in autism, and neurodegenerative disease/ neuromodulation, integrating research with basic, clinical, and community aspects to impact care and treatments.

BoV Approved: June 2017

Project Dates: 8/04/2017 – 8/03/2022

Total Funding: $15,710,000

Executive Summary

The University of Virginia established the Brain Institute in 2016 to take advantage of its significant research and educational strengths, and in response to state and national needs and investments.  This SIF award builds on three areas of research prominence – autism, neurodegenerative disease and neuromodulation, and sensory disorders – to take them to national and international pre-eminence by integrating research with basic, clinical and community aspects to impact care and treatments. This will be accomplished by strategic hiring of mid-career faculty, establishment of enhanced facilities for brain imaging and neuromics, and by connecting investigators to data resources and translational efforts that will allow clinical breakthroughs. Strategic goals include the vertical integration of research in the three research areas, increased external funding in these areas, and application for nationally funded centers of excellence in autism, neurodegeneration, and eye disorders.

Current Status: Completed


The UVA Brain Institute was established in 2016 to build and sustain interdisciplinary neuroscience research teams across Grounds to address major societal challenges. We provide a unified vision for bringing UVA neuroscience to preeminence and offer unique capabilities to respond to a rapidly evolving neuroscience research landscape. Over the past 5 years with funding from the SIF, the Brain Institute has invested nearly $15M in infrastructure, recruitment, and seed funding across Grounds to transform neuroscience research at UVA from a collection of individual labs and investigators to multidisciplinary, nationally recognized research programs. In addition to awarding funds for transformative pilot funding, facilitating recruitment, and investing in equipment, the Brain Institute facilitates neuroscience research through proficiency in project management, the ability to directly support teams through expertise in bench, clinical and translational research, as well as with regulatory experience with IRBs and FDA. We also provide expert support in preparing large, multi-PI grant submissions that enhance our research and training environments. By facilitating and leveraging the strengths of the UVA neuroscience community, the Brain Institute is poised to bring neuroscience to preeminence and make both good and great contributions to our local community, commonwealth, country, and world.