Tulane Home Tulane Home

Initiatives and Programs

Faculty Grant Initiatives
The Priddy Family Spark Research Endowed Fund

The Priddy Family Spark Research Endowed Fund was created to provide competitive annual awards to faculty for early-stage research support that advances the research priorities of the Brain Institute. An annual $50,000 award is to be made beginning in 2021.

  • Recipients of the 2021 Award are Jonathan Fadok and Jeffrey Tasker in support of their proposal “The role of bottom-up noradrenergic signaling in mediating hyperarousal following trauma”."
Marko Spark Innovation Research Fund

The Marko Spark Innovation Research Fund was created to spark innovative cross-disciplinary research and support the creation of collaborative research teams at the new Tulane Brain Institute. A $50,000 award is to be made in each of five years beginning in 2016.

  • Recipients of the 2020 Award are Laurie Earls and Maria Galazo in support of their proposal "Determining Molecular and Neural Activity Correlates of Early Endophenotypes in Schizophrenia."
  • Recipients of the 2019 Award were Andrea Zsombok and Andrei Derbenev in support of their proposal "Central Circuits Involved in Sympathetic Control of the Liver."
  • Recipients of the 2018 Award were Ricardo Mostany and Jonathan Fadok in support of their proposal "Determining the Neuronal Correlates of Fear Intensity Using Advanced Neurotechnology."
  • Recipients of the 2017 Award were Anne Robinson and Laura Schrader in support of their proposal "Mechanistic Determinants of Trans-synaptic Tau Transmission."
  • Recipients of the 2016 Award were Bruce Bunnell and Michael Moore in support of their proposal "Determining Actions of Adipose Stem Cells on CNS Remyelination in a Novel Microengineered In Vitro Model."
Tulane Brain Institute Research Fund Award

The primary objective of this initiative is to provide seed funding to stimulate future federal funding. At the discretion of the Brain Institute Executive Committee, an annual award of $10,000 - $25,000 may be targeted as seed funding to spark new collaborations or as bridge funding to help re-establish external funding of existing research programs.

  • Recipients of 2021 Awards that provided seed funding to support collection of pilot data are Elizabeth Engler-Chiurazzi and Kevin Zwezdaryk in support of their proposal “Exploration of an Infectious Etiology of Age-Related Cognitive Decline” and Ibolya Rutkai in support of her proposal “Proteomic landscape of microvessels in the aged brain: therapeutic potential of mitochondria”. The 2021 Tulane Brain Research Fund Awards were supported by the Panetta Family Presidential Chair Endowed Fund."
  • Recipients of the 2016 Award that aimed to spark new research collaborations were Laura Schrader and Ricardo Mostany in support of their proposal "Orchestration of thalamic oscillations by Shox2 and its role in experience-dependent cortical plasticity."
Tulane Brain Institute Working Group Initiative

The goal our Brain Institute Working Group Initiative is to increase the number of large collaborative proposals, particularly multidisciplinary Program Project or Center proposals submitted from the Brain Institute. Three tiers of activities are supported. A particular working group can apply for one to three tiers of support as they develop a proposal. Tier 1 funding supports brainstorming activities of a group of Brain Institute faculty working in a common research area. Tier 2 funding supports consultation activities that will move the proposal forward and increase chances of success. Tier 3 funding supports seed awards to be used for collection of pilot data. See here for more information and application process. The Tulane Working Group Initiative is supported by the Panetta Family Presidential Chair Endowed Fund.

Scientific Programs
Tulane Brain Institute Annual Retreat

A highlight of each academic year is the annual Tulane Brain Institute retreat. The retreat is held on a Saturday early in the spring semester and attended by the Brain Institute faculty and Neuroscience Program doctoral students. Often held at an off-campus site, such as the New Orleans Audubon Zoo, the retreat is a day of camaraderie and science.

D.U.N.K. (Downtown – Uptown Neuroscience Krewe) Breakfast Meetings

The Brain Institute hosts informal monthly breakfast meetings that are open to all Brain Institute labs, including faculty, PhD students, and postdocs working at the School of Medicine (Downtown) and at the School of Science and Engineering (Uptown). At each meeting, two to three Neuroscience Program doctoral students, usually from a single lab, present "work-in-progress" talks to the group. Lively discussions follow.

Tulane Brain Institute Seminar Series

The Brain Institute supports weekly seminars given by nationally recognized neuroscientists and attended by faculty and students. Faculty and doctoral students are invited to host speakers.

Student Programs
T.U.R.N. (Tulane Undergraduate Research in Neuroscience) Summer Program

Stipends are provided to undergraduates to work full-time for eight weeks in Brain Institute faculty labs. The Program includes weekly research meetings with faculty mentors and students and culminates in a poster session and social event.

Jean Yocum Harlan Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Presentations

Three Neuroscience Program doctoral students are recognized each year for outstanding research presentations at the Brain Institute annual retreat. Awardees receive a monetary award and have their names engraved on a plaque hung in the Brain Institute Offices.

Doctoral Student Spring Professional Development Workshop

The Brain Institute supports a professional development workshop each spring for Neuroscience Program doctoral students on a topic of their choosing.