Neuroscience:Translate

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The Neuroscience:Translate grant program supports research projects at the intersection of biology, engineering and medicine to address practical unmet needs in brain health and the neurosciences.

The program funds cross-disciplinary teams to develop new devices, diagnostic procedures, software, pharmaceutical therapies and other products that can be brought rapidly to market through new startup companies or partnerships with existing companies. Grants of up to $100,000 are awarded annually to approximately six teams. Teams who have previously received Neuroscience:Translate awards may apply for a one-year renewal to continue advancing their technology.


This program was inspired by the successful Stanford Coulter Translational Research program, a partnership between Stanford Bioengineering and the Coulter Foundation managed by the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign. The Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute partners with Stanford Biodesign to bring this approach and expertise to bear on the field of neuroscience and brain diseases, with guidance from a Neuroscience:Translate oversight committee comprising scientific and industry leaders in biotechnology development.

Closed

2024 applications are closed

Funded Neuroscience:Translate projects

Funded research
Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute
Targeting mitochondria in glioblastoma

This team recently discovered that a small molecule they had originally developed to treat Parkinson’s disease can also reduce the volume of glioblastoma tumors – the most common form of aggressive brain tumor — by targeting the mitochondrial protein Miro1. They will use their Neuroscience:Translate award to study the mechanisms of the compound’s anti-tumor action and prepare to apply for investigational-new-drug status to move this discovery toward the clinic.

Funded research
Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute
Assessing the feasibility of an autologous cell/gel therapy for spinal cord injury

This team has developed a new therapy for patients with spinal cord injury, involving injection into the spinal cord of patient-derived stem cells within an engineered protective gel. They will use their Neuroscience:Translate award to further test and develop this novel therapy in preparation for first-in-human clinical trials. 

Funded research
Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute
Clinical translation of a new PET radiotracer for mapping innate immune activation in multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases

This team recently identified a selective biomarker of inflammation-promoting immune cells in the central nervous system. They will use their Neuroscience:Translate award to develop non-invasive molecular imaging strategies to distinguish between harmful (pro-inflammatory) and helpful (anti-inflammatory) immune cells in patients with Multiple sclerosis (MS).

Funded research
Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute
Creating a pharmacologic stroke recovery therapy

This team has identified a promising protein-based therapeutic to improve stroke recovery.  The team will use the Neuroscience:Translate award to identify key components of this protein to maximize its therapeutic potential for stroke treatments.

Funded research
Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute
Small molecule ion channel modulator to treat acute episodes of peripheral vertigo

This team is developing a small molecule that targets a voltage-gated ion channel within the inner ear for the symptomatic relief of peripheral vertigo attacks. They will use their Neuroscience:Translate award to further develop this molecule to restore normal function and improve activities of daily living for patients experiencing peripheral vertigo.

Funded research
Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute
Optimization of the African killifish platform for rapid drug screening for aggregate based neurodegenerative diseases
There are currently no available drugs for neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. Using the power of a new vertebrate aging model, the African killifish, this team is investigating age-dependent protein aggregation at a systems level and identifying aggregating proteins in the aging brain. There is huge potential to optimize the killifish platform for phenotypic screening of drug libraries, notably those targeted at protein aggregation, which is central to neurodegenerative diseases.