Past Pilot Projects

Click “Pilot Project Details” for descriptions and progress. Read More

Dissecting Downstream SCN Neural Circuits in Sleep and Arousal

2016 Award
Principal investigators: Aaron Norris (WashU Anesthesiology), Erik Herzog (WashU Biology)

Pilot Project Details

Transmissible protein aggregation in myodegenerative diseases

2016 Award
Principal investigator: Conrad Weihl (WashU Neurology)
Collaborator: Jan Bieschke (formerly WashU Biomedical Engineering)

Pilot Project Details

Development of a bioengineered construct library to repair long nerve defects

2016 Award
Principal Investigator: Matthew Wood (WashU Surgery)
Collaborator: Susan Mackinnon (WashU Surgery)

Pilot Project Details

Fixing the Broken Clock: Optogenetic methods to restore circadian rhythms in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s Disease

2015 Award
Principal Investigator: Erik Musiek (WashU Neurology)
Collaborators: Erik Herzog (WashU Biology) and Geraldine Kress (WashU Neurology)

Pilot Project Details

Mechanisms of neonatal seizures in a mouse model of term-equivalent cerebral hypoxia-ischemia

2015 Award
Principal Investigator: Michael Wong (WashU Neurology)
Collaborator: Rafael Galindo (WashU Neurology)

Pilot Project Details

MicroRNA regulation of dendritic cell function in an animal model of multiple sclerosis

2015 Award
Principal Investigator: Gregory Wu (WashU Neurology)
Collaborator: Timothy Miller (WashU Neurology)

Pilot Project Details

The role of DNA methylation in Huntington’s disease

2015 Award
Principal Investigator:  Hiroko Yano (WashU Neurosurgery)
Collaborator: Ting Wang (WashU Genetics)

Pilot Project Details

Neuronal subtype-specific vulnerability in tauopathies using reprogramming methods in human somatic and stem cells

2014 Award
Principal Investigator: Celeste Karch (WashU Psychiatry)
Collaborator: Andrew Yoo (WashU Developmental Biology)

Pilot Project Details

Identification and functional characterization of rare variants in DNAJC5/CSP gene associated with Alzheimer Disease

2014 Award
Principal Investigators: Carlos Cruchaga (WashU Psychiatry) and Bruno Benitez (WashU Medicine)

Pilot Project Details

Characterization of neural bridge circuits for spinal cord repair

2014 Award
Principal Investigator: Shelly Sakiyama-Elbert (formerly WashU Biomedical Engineering)
Collaborator: Dennis Barbour (WashU Biomedical Engineering)

Pilot Project Details

MR Elastography and CSF Biomarkers in Post-Hemorrhagic Hydrocephalus

2014 Award
Principal Investigator: David Limbrick (WashU Neurosurgery)
Collaborators: Pat McAllister (WashU Neurosurgery), Philip Bayly (WashU Mechanical Engineering), Robyn Klein (WashU Medicine)

Pilot Project Details

Role of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) metabolism in the pathogenesis of retinal neurodegeneration

2014 Award
Principal Investigator: Shin-Ichiro Imai (WashU Developmental Biology)
Collaborator: Rajendra Apte (WashU Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences)

Pilot Project Details

Promoting axonal regeneration in models of ALS via activation of the preconditioning response in iPSC-derived human neurons

2013 Award
Principal Investigator: Aaron DiAntonio (WashU Developmental Biology)
Co-Investigators: Jeffrey Milbrandt (WashU Genetics), Timothy Miller (WashU Neurology)

Pilot Project Details

TREM2 signaling as a biomarker and therapeutic target in ALS

2013 Award
Principal Investigator: Matthew Harms (formerly WashU Neurology)
Co-Investigators: Timothy Miller (WashU Neurology), Marco Colonna (WashU Pathology & Immunology)

Pilot Project Details

Using biosensors to identify therapy-driven brain reorganization in children

2013 Award
Principal Investigator: Bradley Schlaggar (WashU Neurology)
Co-Investigators: Nico Dosenbach (WashU Neurology), Catherine Lang (WashU Physical Therapy), Steve Petersen (WashU Neurology)

Pilot Project Details

Axonal Injury in Intracerebral Hemorrhage

2012 Award
Principal Investigator: Terrance Kummer (WashU Neurology)
Co-Investigators: David Brody (formerly WashU Neurology), Gregory Zipfel (WashU Neurosurgery)

Pilot Project Details

Modulation of proteostasis for treatment of Niemann-Pick C disease

2012 Award
Principal Investigator: Daniel Ory (WashU Medicine)
Co-Investigator: Mark Sands (WashU Medicine)

Pilot Project Details

Immunomodulatory role of plasmacytoid dendritic cells in multiple sclerosis

2012 Award
Principal Investigator: Laura Piccio (WashU Neurology)
Co-Investigator: Marina Cella (WashU Pathology & Immunology)

Pilot Project Details

DNAJB6 in protein aggregation: Integration of clinical material, mouse models and yeast genetics

2011 Award
Principal Investigator: Conrad Weihl (WashU Neurology)
Co-investigators: Heather True (WashU Cell Biology & Physiology), Matt Harms (formerly WashU Neurology)

Pilot Project Details

Quantitation of Amyloid-β peptides in CSF of Alzheimer’s disease participants by immunoprecipitation/mass spectrometry (IP/MS) and solid phase extraction/mass spectrometry (SPE/MS)

2011 Award
Principal Investigators: Randall Bateman and Anne Fagan (WashU Neurology)

Pilot Project Details

Isolating Cell-Type Specific miRNAs from Mice

2011 Award
Principal Investigator: Timothy Miller (WashU Neurology)
Co-investigator: Joseph Dougherty (WashU Genetics)

Pilot Project Details

Noninvasive white matter histology of living EAE mice

2011 Award
Investigator: Victor Song(WashU Radiology)
Co-investigator: Anne Cross (WashU Neurology)

Pilot Project Details

Citalopram Decreases Aβ Plaque Accumulation in APP Mice and CSF Aβ in Humans

2010 Award
Principal Investigator: Jin-Moo Lee (WashU Neurology)
Co-investigators: Yvette Sheline (formerly WashU Psychiatry) , Robert Swarm (WashU Anesthesiology)

Pilot Project Details

Identification and functional characterization of the genetic variant causing Kufs’ disease with early dementia in a family with an autosomal dominant inheritance

2010 Award
Principal Investigator: Carlos Cruchaga (WashU Psychiatry)
Co-investigator: Mark Sands (WashU Medicine)

Pilot Project Details

Cis-regulatory mapping of dominant human retinal neurodegenerative disorders

2010 Award
Principal Investigator: Joseph Corbo (WashU Pathology & Immunology)
Co-investigators: Rob Mitra (WashU Genetics), Frans Cremers (Nijmegen Medical Centre, The Netherlands)

Pilot Project Details

Mechanism of Huntington Aggregation Regulated by Profilin

2010 Award
Principal Investigator: Rohit Pappu (WashU Biomedical Engineering)
Co-investigator: Marc Diamond (formerly WashU Neurology)

Pilot Project Details

PET tracers for cerebrovascular-specific amyloid imaging

2009 Award
Principal Investigator: Gregory Zipfel (WashU Neurosurgery)
Co-investigators: Robert Mach (WashU Radiology), Byung Hee Han (WashU Neurosurgery)

Pilot Project Details

Generating Amyloid Seeds in Lysosomes

2009 Award
Principal Investigator: Carl Frieden (WashU Biochemistry)
Co-investigators: Marc Diamond (formerly WashU Neurology), Jin-Moo Lee(WashU Neurology)

Pilot Project Details

Understanding How the Liver Successfully Handles Misfolded SOD1

2009 Award
Principal Investigator: Timothy Miller (WashU Neurology)
Co-investigator: Chris Weihl (WashU Neurology)

Pilot Project Details

Inhibition of the DLK/JNK Pathway as a Therapeutic Target for Axonopathy

2008 Award
Principal Investigator: Aaron DiAntonio (WashU Developmental Biology)
Co-investigator: Jeffrey Milbrandt (WashU Genetics)

Pilot Project Details

Functional RNAi screen to identify pathways essential for protein aggregate clearance and degradation

2008 Award
Principal Investigator: Conrad Weihl (WashU Neurology)
Co-investigator: David Piwnica-Worms (formerly WashU Radiology)

Pilot Project Details

Misfolded protein accumulation and neurodegeneration due to phospholipase gene mutations

2007 Award
Principal Investigator: Paul Kotzbauer (WashU Neurology)
Co-investigator: Joy Snider (WashU Neurology)

Pilot Project Details

Function of FGF14 in progressive spinocerebellar ataxia

2007 Award
Principal Investigator: David Ornitz (WashU Developmental Biology)
Co-investigators: Kel Yamada (WashU Neurology), Jeanne Nerbonne (WashU Developmental Biology), David Wozniak (WashU Psychiatry)

Pilot Project Details

Microdevice development for the study of axon degeneration and injury

2007 Award
Principal Investigator: Shelly Sakiyama-Elbert, PhD (formerly WashU Biomedical Engineering)
Co-investigators: Karen O’Malley (WashU Neuroscience), Amy Shen (formerly WashU Mechanical Engineering)

Pilot Project Details

Development of a Clinically Relevant Model of Infant Traumatic Brain Injury

2007 Award
Principal Investigator: David Brody (WashU Neurology)
Co-investigators: Alexander Parsadanian (WashU Neurology), Philip Bayly (WashU Mechanical Engineering), Krikor Dikranian (WashU Neuroscience)

Pilot Project Details

Unraveling the amyloid fibril with polyphenols

2006 Award
Principal Investigator: Jin-Moo Lee (WashU Neurology)
Co-investigators: Carl Frieden (WashU Biochemistry), John Heuser (WashU Cell Biology & Physiology), Rohit Pappu (WashU Biomedical Engineering), David Wozniak (WashU Psychiatry)

Pilot Project Details

In vivo labeled proteomics in human CSF

2006 Award
Principal Investigator: Randall Bateman (WashU Neurology)
Co-investigators: Donald Elbert (formerly WashU Biomedical Engineering), Alison Goate (formerly WashU Psychiatry)

Pilot Project Details

Use of hybrid mammalian-yeast prions to identify factors that inhibit protein aggregation (2006)

2006 Award
Principal Investigator: David Harris (formerly WashU Cell Biology & Physiology)
Co-investigator: Heather True (WashU Cell Biology & Physiology)

Pilot Project Details

Genetics of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

2005 Award
Principal Investigator: Alison Goate (formerly WashU Psychiatry)

Inhibitors of Sodium Channels as Axonal Protectants in Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis

2005 Award
Principal Investigator: Anne Cross (WashU Neurology)

Stimulating Axonal Protection in ALS via Activation of Nuclear NAD Biosynthesis

2005 Award
Principal Investigators: Jeffrey Milbrandt (WashU Genetics), Anneliese Schaefer (WashU Neurology)

Active Pilot Projects

Hope Center Pilot awards are two-year projects.  Click below to learn about active pilot projects.

Active pilot projects