Brown University Scientist Wins 2016 Fay/Frank Seed Grant

June 6, 2016

Brown University Scientist Wins 2016 Fay/Frank Seed Grant

  • Brain Research Foundation to award $80,000 to Dr. Alexander Jaworski of Brown University in Province, Rhode Island
  • A total of 12 neuroscientists from leading U.S. research institutions to receive a combined $960,000 in seed grants to conduct research.
  • The Fay/Frank Seed Grant Program supports the critical first phase of research for promising neuroscientists exploring cutting-edge research methods

CHICAGO, May XX, 2016 Brain Research Foundation, a non-profit organization that funds the nation’s most innovative neuroscience research, today announced the recipients of its annual Fay/Frank Seed Grant program. Alexander Jaworski, Ph.D. and assistant professor of Brown University, was selected as one of the 12 scientists from leading research institutions across the country to receive the grant. The scientists were selected based on their progressive approach to the understanding and exploration of the brain. The winners will each receive an $80,000 grant to launch the initial phases of their research, and gather the data required to validate their hypotheses.

Dr. Jaworski’s research project is designed to uncover how sensory information is relayed to different areas of the brain. This work will provide important insights into the circuitry that processes sensory information and will deliver new tools for the mapping of brain circuits to the scientific community.

“Brain Research Foundation plays a unique role in facilitating neuroscience research by awarding seed grants to promising junior investigators,” said Terre A. Constantine, Ph.D., Executive Director and CEO of the Foundation. “Our organization is founded on the values of innovation, exploration and discovery. Dr. Jaworski demonstrates each of those key values in his approach to one of the most challenging neuroscience questions today.”

“As the need for ongoing funding for neuroscience research continues to grow, programs such as the Fay/Frank Seed Grant program are increasingly important,” Dr. Constantine continued. “Without the support and contribution from Brain Research Foundation, many revolutionary brain research projects would not be possible.”

Brain Research Foundation 2016 Fay/Frank Seed Grant recipients include:

Kristen J. Brennand, Ph.D. 

Assistant Professor, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Sreekanth H. Chalasani, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Catherine A. Christian, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Yiyang Gong, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Duke University

Ali Guler, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, University of Virginia

Myriam Heiman, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Alexander Jaworski, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Brown University

Kenneth Y. Kwan, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, University of Michigan

Kira E. Poskanzer, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, University of California, San Francisco

Melanie A. Samuel, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Baylor College of Medicine

Rebecca M. Shansky, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Northeastern University

Oleksandr Shcheglovitov, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, University of Utah

About the Fay/Frank Seed Grant Program

Brain Research Foundation’s Fay/Frank Seed Grant Program was established in 1981. The program provides start-up funding for new research projects in the field of neuroscience that are likely lead to extramural funding from institutions such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or other outside sources. Since 1981, Brain Research Foundation has awarded $12.8 million Fay/Frank Seed Grant funding to researchers across the country.

All grant proposals funded by Brain Research Foundation, including those for the Fay/Frank Seed Grants, are reviewed and rated by the Foundation’s Scientific Review Committee. The committee is comprised of esteemed researchers from leading neuroscience institutions across the country.

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About Brain Research Foundation (

Brain Research Foundation supports neuroscience research that leads to advanced understanding of brain function in children and adults. The Foundation is committed to advancing discoveries that will lead to novel treatments and prevention of all neurological diseases. We deliver this commitment through both research grant programs, which provide initial funding for innovative research projects, as well as educational programs for researchers and the general public.

Contacts for the media:

Nikki Lopez

Porter Novelli

Phone: +312-552-6315