Past Pilot Projects

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

Determining the pathogenic role of FGFR3 autoantibodies in idiopathic small fiber neuropathy

2019 Award

Principal Investigator: Robert Gereau (WashU Anesthesiology)
Collaborator: David Ornitz (WashU Developmental Biology)

Pilot Project Details

Reversibility of amyloid-induced mitochondrial dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease

2019 Award

Principal Investigator: Jin-Moo Lee (WashU Neurology)
Collaborator: Song Hu (WashU Biomedical Engineering)

Pilot Project Details

SARM1 inhibition as a novel therapeutic strategy for Cln1 disease

2019 Award

Principal Investigator: Aaron DiAntonio (WashU Developmental Biology)
Collaborator: Jonathan Cooper (WashU Pediatrics), Mark Sands (WashU Medicine)

Pilot Project Details

Internet of things (IoT) monitoring of rodent home-cages to understand circadian plasticity

2019 Award

Principal Investigator: Alexxai Kravitz (WashU Psychiatry)
Collaborator: Erik Herzog (WashU Biology)

Pilot Project Details

DNA methylation in Alzheimer’s disease

2019 Award

Principal Investigator: Oscar Harari (WashU Psychiatry)
Collaborator: Ting Wang (WashU Genetics)

Pilot Project Details

Reprogramming rod photoreceptors to treat retinal degeneration

2018 Award

Principal Investigator: Joseph Corbo (WashU Pathology & Immunology)
Collaborator: Vladimir Kefalov (formerly WashU Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences)

Pilot Project Details

Developing Biomarkers for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy

2018 Award

Principal Investigator: Stefanie Geisler (WashU Neurology)
Collaborator: Amanda Cashen (WashU Medicine), Anne Fagan (WashU Neurology)

Pilot Project Details

Defining the mechanisms by which MS4A4A regulates TREM2 in Alzheimer disease

2018 Award

Principal Investigator: Celeste Karch (WashU Psychiatry)
Collaborator: Thomas Brett (WashU Medicine), Laura Piccio (WashU Neurology)

Pilot Project Details

Utilizing Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Based Disease Models to Identify the Malignant Epigenetic State in Glioblastoma

2018 Award

Principal Investigator: Albert Kim (WashU Neurosurgery)
Collaborator: Andrew Yoo (WashU Developmental Biology), Jeffrey Millman (WashU Medicine)

Pilot Project Details

Identification of Repurposed Prescription Medications as Neuroprotective Therapy for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

2018 Award

Principal Investigator: Brad Racette (WashU Neurology)
Collaborator: Timothy Miller (WashU Neurology)

Pilot Project Details

Unraveling the Mechanisms of Neuroma Prevention with the Use of Acellularized Nerve Allografts

2017 Award
Principal Investigator: Valeria Cavalli (WashU Dept. of Neuroscience)
Collaborator: Amy Moore (formerly WashU Surgery)

Pilot Project Details

Regulation of stop codon readthrough of Aqp4 and role in Aβ clearance

2017 Award
Principal Investigator: Joseph Dougherty (WashU Genetics)
Collaborators: John Cirrito (WashU Neurology), Carla Yuede (WashU Psychiatry)

Pilot Project Details

Eliciting Sensory Percepts by Macrosieve Stimulation of the Rat Sciatic Nerve

2017 Award
Principal investigator: Wilson (Zack) Ray (WashU Neurosurgery)
Collaborator: Dan Moran (WashU Biomedical Engineering)

Pilot Project Details

Role of Lysosomal Dysfunction in Aggregation and Spreading of Alpha-synuclein in vitro and in vivo

2017 Award
Principal Investigator: Mark Sands (WashU Medicine)
Collaborators: Albert (Gus) Davis (WashU Neurology), Bruno Benitez (WashU Psychiatry)

Pilot Project Details

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)

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 (formerly 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 (formerly WashU Radiology), Byung Hee Han (formerly 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 (formerly 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 (formerly WashU Neurology)
Co-investigators: Alexander Parsadanian (formerly 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