2022 BrightFocus Research Grant Awards

BrightFocus Foundation has a history of supporting cutting-edge research into Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.

 

woman researcher with microscope in lab

Alzheimer's Disease Research

Influence of Testosterone on Dementia in Male Mice
Charly Abi Ghanem, PhD
ALBANY MEDICAL COLLEGE
Fellowship Mentor: Kristen Zuloaga, PhD
Fellowship Mentor: Sally Temple, PhD
NEURAL STEM CELL INSTITUTE

Stathmin-2 as a New Biomarker and Disease Modifier in Alzheimer's Disease
Ana Rita Agra de Almeida Quadros, PhD
MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL
Fellowship Mentor: Clotilde Lagier-Tourenne, MD, PhD

Dysfunction of the Regulation of Cerebral Blood Flow in Alzheimer's Disease
Antoine Anfray, PhD
WEILL MEDICAL COLLEGE OF CORNELL UNIVERSITY
Fellowship Mentor: Costantino Iadecola, MD

Revealing Early Biomarkers in Alzheimer’s Disease
Uri Ashery, PhD
TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY (ISRAEL)
Co-PI: Shahar Alon, PhD
BAR-ILAN UNIVERSITY (ISRAEL)

Testing for Vulnerable Neuronal Connections in Early AD
Samuel Barnes, PhD
IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON (UNITED KINGDOM)
Co-PI: Johanna Jackson, PhD

Mapping Brain Connectivity Changes in Alzheimer’s Disease
Kevin Beier, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE

Understanding TREM2 Signaling as an AD Target
Thomas Brett, PhD
WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST.LOUIS

The Role of Sleep in Alzheimer's Disease Disparities
Omonigho Bubu, MD, PhD
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

Identifying Women-Specific and Men-Specific Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s Disease
Gael Chetelat, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF CAEN NORMANDIE (FRANCE)
*In partnership with the Fondation Vaincre Alzhiemer

Studying Lysosomal Vulnerability in Aging and Alzheimer's Disease
Ching-Chieh Chou, PhD
STANFORD UNIVERSITY
Fellowship Mentor: Judith Frydman, PhD

Advanced Imaging of the Spatial Organization of Brain Cells in Alzheimer’s
Limor Cohen, PhD
HARVARD UNIVERSITY
Fellowship Mentor: Xiaowei Zhuang, PhD

The Impact of Midlife Cardiovascular Health on Brain’s Well-Being
Marta Cortes-Canteli, PhD
CENTRO NACIONAL DE INVESTIGACIONES CARDIOVASCULARES (SPAIN)
Co-PI: Valentin Fuster, PhD
Co-PI: Juan Domingo Gispert, PhD

Neurovascular Changes During Midlife Hypertension and Alzheimer’s Disease
Christian Crouzet, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE
Fellowship Mentor: David Cribbs, PhD
Fellowship Mentor: Bernard Choi, PhD

A Novel Test for Alzheimer’s Disease Based on DNA Circulating in Blood
Yuval Dor, PhD
HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM (ISRAEL)

Mapping the Crosslink of Senescence and Inflammation in Neurodegeneration
Violeta Duran Laforet, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS
Fellowship Mentor: Michael Heneka, MD, PhD
Fellowship Mentor: Dorothy Schafer, PhD

Exploring Microglial Activation in Normal Physiology and Disease
Gabriela Farias Quipildor, PhD
ICAHN SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AT MOUNT SINAI
Fellowship Mentor: Stephen Salton, MD, PhD

Mitochondrial DNA Oxidative Damage and Microglial Activation in Alzheimer’s Disease
Lan Guo, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS CENTER FOR RESEARCH

Validating the Receptor PILRA as an Alzheimer's Therapeutic Target
David Hansen, PhD
BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY

Does Brain Activity in Early Life Predict Future Neurodegeneration?
Keith Hengen, PhD
WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST. LOUIS
*The J.T. Tai Foundation Alzheimer’s Disease Research Award

Understanding the Microglia Cell-Surface in Alzheimer’s Disease
Brandon Holmes, MD, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN FRANCISCO
Fellowship Mentor: James Wells, PhD
Fellowship Mentor: Martin Kampmann, PhD
*The Edward H. Koo Postdoctoral Fellowship Award for Alzheimer's Disease Research

Selective Cholinergic Activation Improves Hippocampal Activity
Seonil Kim, PhD
COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY

Investigating the Role of TREM2 T96K in Alzheimer’s Disease Pathogenesis
Hoang Le, PhD
MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL
Fellowship Mentor: Ana Griciuc, PhD
Fellowship Mentor: Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD

More Sensitive Measures Towards the Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease
Stephanie Leal, PhD
RICE UNIVERSITY

Drivers of Vulnerability to Alzheimer’s Disease Neuropathological Changes
Nicole Liachko, PhD
SEATTLE INSTITUTE FOR BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL RESEARCH

Abca1 Regulates Lipid Metabolism and Tau Pathology in the P301S/ApoE4 Mice
Alexandra Litvinchuk, PhD
WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST. LOUIS
Fellowship Mentor: David Holtzman, MD

Home-Based Noninvasive Brain Stimulation for Mild Alzheimer’s Disease
Brad Manor, PhD
HEBREW REHABILITATION CENTER
Co-PI: Alvaro Pascual-Leone, MD, PhD

Identifying a Disease-Modifying Treatment for Alzheimer’s
Courtney Marshall, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
Fellowship Mentor: Virginia Lee, PhD

Assessment of Tandem Repeat Variation in Alzheimer’s Disease
Alejandro Martin Trujillo, PhD
ICAHN SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AT MOUNT SINAI

Do Protein Levels and Brain Structure Impact Cognition in Alzheimer's Disease
Nicole McKay, PhD
WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
Fellowship Mentor: Tammie Benzinger, MD, PhD

Modeling MRI Brain Aging in Autosomal Dominant Alzheimer's Disease
Peter Millar, PhD
WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
Fellowship Mentor: Eric McDade, DO

Do Post-Translational Modifications Cause Tau to Shapeshift?
Sue-Ann Mok, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA (CANADA)
Co-PI: Carlo Condello, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN FRANCISCO

Tau Variants in Blood to Diagnose and Stage Alzheimer's Disease
Laia Montoliu-Gaya, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF GOTHENBURG (SWEDEN)
Fellowship Mentor: Kaj Blennow, MD, PhD

Relationship Between Sleep Loss and Protein Buildup in Alzheimer’s Disease
Christopher Morrone, PhD
CENTRE FOR ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH (CANADA)
Fellowship Mentor: Wai Haung (Ho) Yu, PhD

Is the Niacin Receptor HCAR2 Protective in Alzheimer's Disease?
Miguel Moutinho, PharmD, PhD
INDIANA UNIVERSITY
Fellowship Mentor: Gary Landreth, PhD

Understanding Brain Networks Causing Associative Memory Impairments in AD
Tatsuki Nakagawa, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE
Fellowship Mentor: Kei Igarashi, PhD

Investigating TDP-43 biology in Alzheimer's Disease and LATE: Impact on the Clinical Diagnosis
Sandra O. Tomé, PhD
CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF LEUVEN (BELGIUM)
Fellowship Mentor: Dietmar Thal, MD

A Human Brain-in-a-Dish Model to Investigate Disease Mechanisms of FTD
Dominik Paquet, PhD
HOSPITAL OF THE LUDWIG MAXIMILIAN UNIVERSITÄT MÜNCHEN (GERMANY)

What is the Best Way to Give tDCS to People with Alzheimer's Disease?
Carlos Roncero, PhD
BAYCREST CENTRE FOR GERIATRIC CARE (CANADA)

Targeting Memory Circuits as a Therapeutic Strategy in Alzheimer’s Disease
Carlos Saura, PhD
UNIVERSITAT AUTONOMA DE BARCELONA (SPAIN)
Co-PI: Arnaldo Parra-Damas, PhD

Imaging Probes for Precision Medicine in Alzheimer's Disease
Sahil Sharma, PhD
MEMORIAL SLOAN KETTERING CANCER CENTER
Fellowship Mentor: Gabriela Chiosis, PhD

Brain Rhythms to the Rescue: Stimulation to Protect the Brain From Stress
Annabelle Singer, PhD
GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

Leptin Protein and its Involvement in Alzheimer’s Disease in Down Syndrome
Lorena Sordo Sordo, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE
Fellowship Mentor: Elizabeth Head, PhD

Tau Master Sites: Drivers of Causative Processes in Alzheimer's Disease
Kristie Stefanoska, PhD
FLINDERS UNIVERSITY (AUSTRALIA)
Fellowship Mentor: Arne Ittner, PhD

Identification of Protein Biomarkers for Aging and Alzheimer's Disease
Xiaojing Sui, PhD
NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY
Fellowship Mentor: Richard Morimoto, PhD

Reprogramming Microglia through Astrocyte Manipulation in Alzheimer’s Brain
Julia TCW, PhD
BOSTON UNIVERSITY

Efficient Brain Delivery of Neuroprotective Antibodies
Peter Tessier, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Co-PI: Colin Greineder, MD, PhD

Metabolism Driving Cell Death and Inflammation in Alzheimer’s Disease
Larissa Traxler, PhD
UNIVERSITÄT INNSBRUCK
Fellowship Mentor: Jerome Mertens, PhD

ApoE Immunotherapy as a Potential Treatment for Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy
Susanne van Veluw, PhD
MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL

Curbing Inflammation at Brain’s Barrier in Alzheimer’s Disease
Huixin Xu, PhD
BOSTON CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL
Fellowship Mentor: Mark Andermann, PhD
Fellowship Mentor: Maria Lehtinen, PhD

Understanding how Human Blood-Brain Barrier Cells Drive Alzheimer's Disease
Andrew Yang, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN FRANCISCO
Fellowship Mentor: Saul Villeda, PhD
Fellowship Mentor: Mark Andermann, PhD
BETH ISRAEL DEACONESS MEDICAL CENTER

Sleep Restoration, Microglia and Alzheimer’s Disease
Qiuchen Zhao, MD, PhD
MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL
Fellowship Mentor: Stephen Gomperts, MD, PhD


 

Macular Degeneration Research

Innovative Award

Mouse Models for Subretinal Fibrosis
Patsy M. Nishina, PhD
THE JACKSON LABORATORY
Co-PI: Juergen K. Naggert, PhD

The Molecular Events in Early Life That Lead to AMD
Przemyslaw Sapieha, PhD
HÔPITAL MAISONNEUVE-ROSEMONT (CANADA)

New Investigator Award

Regenerative Response in Spiny Mice
Manas R. Biswal, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA

Regulation of Capillary Blood Flow in the Choroid Vasculature
Albert Gonzales, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA

Discovering an Invisible Layer in Retina and its Ties to AMD
Yifan Jian, PhD
OREGON HEALTH & SCIENCE UNIVERSITY

To Identify New Factors that Play a Role in Early Onset Drusen Maculopathy
Yara TE Lechanteur, MD, PhD
RADBOUD UNIVERSITY NIJMEGEN MEDICAL CENTRE (THE NETHERLANDS)
Mentor: Frans Cremers, PhD

Gene Regulation of RPE Maintenance
Lev Prasov, MD, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

Stem Cell-Based Approaches to Identify New Drugs for Treating Dry AMD
Srinivasa Rao Sripathi, PhD
RETINA FOUNDATION OF THE SOUTHWEST

Macular Degeneration, Metabolism, and a Novel Mitigation Strategy
Thomas Wubben, MD, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award

Cellular Scale Characterization of the RPE-Photoreceptor Complex in a model for Geographic Atrophy Progression
Kristen Bowles Johnson, PhD, OD
INDIANA UNIVERSITY
Fellowship Co-Mentors: Donald T. Miller, PhD & Jennifer J Hunter PhD UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER

Investigating Multiarmed Cell Death (PANoptosis) in Dry AMD Progression
Lucia Celkova, PhD
TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN, (IRELAND)
Fellowship Mentor: Matthew Campbell, PhD

Identifying FDA Approved Drugs to Reverse Dry AMD
Steffi Daniel, PhD
THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SOUTHWESTERN MEDICAL CENTER
Fellowship Mentor: John Hulleman, PhD

Can Fatty Acid Oxidation Influence Drusen Levels in the Eye?
Daniel Hass, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
Fellowship Mentor: James Hurley, PhD

Dark Matter: Developing a Nanoantioxidant-Based Therapeutic System for AMD
Yongsu Kwon, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA
Fellowship Mentor: Han Zongchao, PhD

Killifish: A Novel Model of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Nicole C. L. Noel, PhD
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON (UK)
Fellowship Mentor: Ryan MacDonald, PhD

Machine Learning to Predict AMD-Associated Genetic Variant Impact
Leah VandenBosch, PhD
SEATTLE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL
Fellowship Mentor: Timothy Cherry, PhD

Bold Ideas Initiatives

A Novel High-Dose Statin for Treatment of Intermediate AMD
John Edwards
DRUSOLV THERAPEUTICS, INC.

Charity-Led Big Data Resource for Discovery of Novel Biomarkers for Multiple Conditions Using Eye Scans
Wen Hwa Lee, PhD
ACTION AGAINST AMD (UK)


 

National Glaucoma Research

Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award

Improved Imaging of the Outflow Pathway in the Living Human Eye
Alessandra Carmichael-Martins, PhD
INDIANA UNIVERSITY
Fellowship Mentor: Stephen Burns, PhD

The Role of Reactive Astrocytes in Glaucomatous Axonal Degeneration
Catia Gomes, PhD
INDIANA UNIVERSITY
Fellowship Mentor: Jason Meyer, PhD

Increased Pressure in Eye Affects the Neuronal Communications in the Brain
Prabhavathi Maddineni, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER
Fellowship Mentor: Gulab Zode, PhD

Developing Communication Strategies for Genetic Risk Testing in Glaucoma
Emmanuelle Souzeau, PhD
FLINDERS UNIVERSITY (AUSTRALIA)
Fellowship Mentor: Jamie E Craig, PhD

Standard Award

The Role of Podosomes in Regulating IOP
Michael G Anderson, PhD
THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA

Preserving Eye's Vision by Neuroprotecting Retinal Cells
Marco Feligioni, PhD
FONDAZIONE EBRI "RITA LEVI-MONTALCINI" (ITALY)

Study of Segmental Aqueous Outflow in Uveal Drainage Pathway
Haiyan Gong, MD, PhD
BOSTON UNIVERSITY
Co-PI: Carol Toris, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER

New Tools for Leveraging Regenerative Medicine to Restore Sight in Glaucoma
Thomas V. Johnson III, MD, PhD
WILMER EYE INSTITUTE, JOHNS HOPKINS SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

Can Progression of Glaucoma be Slowed by Regular Exercise?
Andras Komaromy, DVM, PhD
MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

Cellular-Scale Imaging in the Living Eye to Study Glaucoma Pathophysiology
Kazuhiro Kurokawa, PhD
GOOD SAMARITAN FOUNDATION, LEGACY HEALTH SYSYTEM

A Possible Link between Glaucoma and Alzheimer's Disease
Nick Marsh-Armstrong, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS

Human Stem Cell Modeling of the APBB2 Risk Variant for Glaucoma
Jason Meyer, PhD
INDIANA UNIVERSITY

Cell-To-Cell Communication in Health and Disease
Michael Risner, PhD
VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER
Co-PI: David Calkins, PhD

Investigating Autophagy in Nitric Oxide Production to Control Eye Pressure
Myoungsup Sim, PhD
DUKE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

Combined Stem Cell and Trophic Factor Therapy for Glaucoma
Shaomei Wang, MD, PhD
CEDARS-SINAI MEDICAL CENTER

Hunting for Genes Controlling Optic Nerve Regeneration
Jiaxing Wang, PhD
EMORY UNIVERSITY

Understanding Alterations in an Early Experimental Glaucoma Model
Hongli Yang, PhD
GOOD SAMARITAN FOUNDATION, LEGACY HEALTH SYSYTEM
Co-PI: Priya Chaudhary, PhD

Bold Ideas Initiatives

Neuroprotection and Neuroenhancement in Glaucoma: A Clinical Trial for CNTF
Jeffrey Goldberg, MD, PhD
STANFORD UNIVERSITY


 

Note: All grants will be awarded pending conclusion of contract negotiations.