Hope Center Awards

Recognizing grad students and post docs who present their research at the Hope Center Retreat Read More


Each year, the Hope Center for Neurological Disorders recognizes investigators who are early in their training and whose work best fulfills the mission of the Hope Center: To improve the lives of people living with neurological disorders, through collaborative research that aims to discover fundamental mechanisms of neurodegeneration and repair, and translate that new understanding into cures and treatments.

All pre-doctoral students and post-doctoral trainees who conduct translational neuroscience research at Washington University are invited to participate in the awards competition. Winners receive a $1000 award, and present their work at the final Monday Noon Seminar of the year.


Lauren Walker, grad student in the lab of Aaron DiAntonio
“MAPK signaling functions upstream of SARM1 to promote axonal degeneration”

Cheryl Leyns, grad student in the lab of David Holtzman
“Direct delivery of full-length, therapeutic anti-tau antibodies to the brain by gene transfer”


Sarah Petersen, PhD, postdoc in the lab of Kelly Monk
“GPR126 has distinct, domain-dependent functions in Schwann cell development mediated by interaction with laminin-211”

Matheus Victor, grad student in the lab of Andrew Yoo
“Modeling Huntington’s Disease with striatal medium spiny neurons directly converted from patient fibroblasts”


Shannon Macauley-Rambach, PhD, postdoc in the lab of David Holtzman
“Investigating the mechanistic link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease: the effects of the hyperglycemia on neuronal activity and Amyloid beta levels within the brain’s interstitial fluid”

Matthew MacEwan, grad student in the labs of Dan Moran and Wilson Ray
“Neuroregenerative electrodes enable functional electrical stimulation of peripheral motor axons and distal musculature”

Sarah Kaufman and David Sanders, grad students in the lab of Marc Diamond
“Distinct tau prion strains propagate in cells and mice and define different tauopathies”


Sarah DeVos, grad student in the lab of Timothy Miller
“Tau Knockdown in the Adult Mouse Significantly Reduces Severity of Excitotoxic Seizures”

Najla Kfoury, PhD , Post Doc in the lab of Marc Diamond
“Soluble tau aggregate seeds are present in brain, CSF and plasma of AD patients, and predict cognitive decline”


Josiah Gerdts, grad student in the lab of Jeff Milbrandt
“High-throughput screening identifies novel genes required for Wallerian Degeneration in primary mouse neurons”

Brandon Holmes, grad student in the lab of Marc Diamond
“Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans Constitute a Major Pathway for Pathogenic Tau Seed Internalization”


Adam Bero, grad student in the lab of Dave Holtzman
“Neuronal activity regulates the regional vulnerability to amyloid-β deposition

Shannon Macauley-Rambach, PhD, post doc in the lab of Mark Sands
“The role of astrocyte activation in both the pathogenesis and treatment of infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (INCL)”


Rebecca Craig-Schapiro, grad student in the lab of Dave Holtzman
“YKL-40: A Novel Diagnostic and Prognostic Fluid Biomarker for Early Alzheimer’s Disease”

Jungsu Kim, PhD, post doc in the lab of Dave Holtzman
“Overexpression of Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor in the Brain Markedly Inhibits Amyloid Deposition and Increases Extracellular Aβ Clearance”


Andrew Kraft, undergraduate in the lab of Jin-Moo Lee
“Activated astrocytes suppress amyloid plaque pathogenesis in APP/PS1 mice”

Shiyam Rao, MD, fellow in the lab of Josh Rubin
“Disruption of GBM-Endothelial Cell Interactions Through Antagonism of CXCR4 Signaling Inhibits Tumor Cell Growth”


Craig Press, grad student in the lab of Jeff Milbrandt
“Nmnat delays axonal degeneration caused by mitochondrial and
oxidative stress”

Qiang Liu, PhD, post doc in the lab of Guojun Bu
“Amyloid Precursor Protein Regulates Brain Apolipoprotein E and
Cholesterol Metabolism through Lipoprotein Receptor LRP1″


Biyu He, undergraduate in the lab of Maurizio Corbetta
“Breakdown of intrinsic brain synchrony in spatial neglect: a novel mechanism to explain brain-behavior relationships after stroke”

Fernanda Laezza, PhD, post doc in the labs of David Ornitz and Jeanne Nerbonne
“A single mutation in FGF14 interferes with function of voltage-gated sodium channels in mammalian neurons”


Elizabeth Tank, grad student in the lab of Heather True-Krob
“PrP Repeat Expansions Confers Enhanced Structural Variability”

Conrad (Chris) Weihl, MD, PhD, post doc in the labs of Phyllis Hanson and Alan Pestronk
“Using both cellular and animal models of hereditary inclusion body myositis (IBM) to explore the underlying pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease”


Michelle Schlief, grad student in the lab of Jonathan Gitlin
“Novel insights into the mechanism of neurodegeneration in Menkes disease: copper-dependent excitotoxic neuroprotection”

David Brody, MD, PhD, post doc in the lab of David Holtzman
“Anti-Aβ antibody attenuates cognitive impairment in a model of experimental traumatic brain injury”