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Previous Pilot Grant Recipients

2018-2019 Pilot Grant Recipients ($25,000 each)

  • Developing a K+-based novel biomarker for sleep in Drosophila, Sofia Axelrod (Young Lab)
  • Optomechanical Stimulation for High-frequency Studies of Hair Cells, Florian Berger (Hudspeth Lab)
  • GEClbow: A Molecular Strategy to Enable Ultra-wide Field of View Calcium Imaging of the Mammalian CNS at Cellular Resolution, Matthew Davenport (Vaziri Lab)
  • Probing the neural mechanisms of uniquely human social cognition with ultrahigh-resolution intracranial electrocorticography, Benjamin Deen (Freiwald Lab)
  • Identification and Analysis of Local Mitochondiral Populations in Dopamine Neurons, Benjamin Kolisnyk and Markus Riessland (Greengard Lab)
  • Genetic code expansion to introduce site-directed infrared probes into optogenetic actuator ReaChR, Jordan Mattheisen (Sakmar Lab)
  • Developing the social spider Anelosimus studiosus for molecular and behavioral neuroscience, Alexander Paul (Kronauer Lab)
  • Decoding positive and negative valence in food-cue learning, Sarah Stern (Friedman Lab)

2017–2018 Pilot Grant Recipients ($25,000 each)

  • Perceptual Modulation of Food-related Cues by Top-down Cognitive Processes, Estefania Azevedo (Friedman Lab)
  • Analysis of RNA Expression in Human Brain to Test the Hypothesis that Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Can Trigger Alzheimer’s Disease, Shahar Barbash (Sakmar Lab)
  • DNA-driven Assembly of a Biosynthetic Pathway with Sub-cellular Resolution, Victor Bustos (Greengard Lab)
  • Developing New Experimental Tools for the Study of an Ant’s Sensory Responses in Isolation and in a Social Context, Asaf Gal (Kronauer Lab)
  • Optimizing Transgenic Methods in the Zebra Finch: a Vocal Learning Model, Anna Keyte (Jarvis Lab)
  • How Neuronal Voltage-gated Ion Channels Function at an Atomic Level, Chia-Hsueh Lee (MacKinnon Lab)
  • In vivo Imaging of Brain Metabolic Rates by Hyperpolarized 13C Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Isaac Marin-Valencia (Hatten Lab)
  • Precision Targeting of Enteric Neurons with a Photo-activatable Cre Recombinase, Paul Muller (Mucida Lab)
  • The Role of Prefrontal Cortex in Top-down Memory Processing, James Niemeyer (Rajasethupathy Lab)
  • Radial-glia Dependent Pioneer-neuron Guidance: Using elegans to Uncover Cells and Genes Driving Mouse Spinal-cord Assembly, Georgia Rapti (Shaham Lab)
  • Transcriptional Cell Types from High-Throughput RNA Sequencing of Heterogeneous Tissues, Stephen Serene (Freiwald Lab)
  • Targeted Optical Sensors to Investigate Selective Neuromodulatory Signaling, Andrew Siliciano and Annie Handler (Ruta Lab)
  • Optogenetic Control of Mosquito Host-seeking Behavior, Trevor Sorrells (Vosshall Lab)
  • Mapping Local mRNA Translational Regulation in Post-Synaptic Dendritic Spines using High-Throughput Co-CLIP, Xin Sun (Darnell Lab)
  • Investigating the Neural Correlates of the Yerkes-Dodson Law, Inna Tabansky (Pfaff Lab)
  • Towards Functional Photo-acoustics Imaging of Deep Brain Structures, Alipasha Vaziri (Vaziri Lab)

2016-2017 Grant Recipients

Project Grants ($100,000 each):

  • Reconstruction of the Zebrafish Neuromast by Serial Blockface Electron Microscopy, Eliot Dow (Hudspeth Lab)
  • Developing a Transgenic Ant Line for Functional Neuronal Imaging using GCaMP, Thomas Hart (Kronauer Lab)
  • Dissecting Primate Social Brain Circuitry, David Hildebrand (Freiwald Lab)

Project Grants ($50,000 each):

  • Characterization of a Novel, Uniquely Expressed Orphan Receptor that Controls Sensitivity to Oxycodone, Cannabinoids, and Nicotine, Ines Ibanez-Tallon (Heintz Lab)
  • Noninvasive Electrophysiology on Dolphins: Primate Model of Neurodegenerative Mitochondrial Disease, Marcelo Magnasco (Magnasco Lab)

Pilot Grants ($25,000 each):

  • Differentiation of Region-specific Human iPSC for the Study of Neuronal Vulnerability in Alzheimer’s Disease, Alona Barnea (Greengard Lab)
  • Do Genetic Mutations Modulate the Molecular Elasticity that Underlies Hearing?, Tobias Bartsch (Hudspeth Lab)
  • Dissecting Sensory-Motor Processing Using Virtual Olfactory Navigation, Raphael Cohn (Ruta Lab)
  • Deciphering the Neural Code for Chemotaxis Behavior in C. elegans, Qiang Liu (Bargmann Lab)
  • Imaging C. elegans Glia and Neurodevelopment, Alina Rashid (Shaham Lab)
  • “MonkeySkype” – Face to Face with Primate Social Cognition, Stephen Shepherd (Freiwald Lab)
  • High-Speed Volumetric Calcium Imaging in Freely Behaving Animals, Alipasha Vaziri (Vaziri Lab)
  • Using Virtual Reality to Study Goal-directed Behavior in Fruit Flies, Vikram Vijayan (Maimon Lab)
  • An Advanced Tissue-clearing Platform with Broad Adaptability for High Fidelity Molecular Interrogation of Entire Mouse Brains and Other Mammalian Nervous Tissues, Zhuhao Wu (Tessier-Lavigne Lab)
  • Generation of a Comprehensive Atlas of the Mosquito Brain, Meg Younger (Vosshall Lab)
  • Remote Control of Transcriptional Activities through Heat-inducible Protein Degradation, Xiaofei Yu (Friedman Lab)



Kavli Neural Systems Institute
The Rockefeller University
1230 York Avenue, Box 257
New York, NY 10065

Lindsey Cole