Translational research to improve the lives of people with neurological disorders


The mission of the Hope Center is 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.

The Hope Center brings together world-leading scientists and clinician scientists to collectively focus on mechanisms of neurodegeneration and neural repair.  These investigators share the conviction that common molecular mechanisms underlie how nerve cells die and how they can be repaired, and that fundamental discoveries related to one disease can lead to cures and treatments in others.

The Hope Center accelerates the translational research process through these objectives:

  • Provide funding for innovative disease-focused research, without the multi-year delays that can be typical for other sources of grant funds.
  • Establish state-of-the-art core resources and technical expertise, so that basic science discoveries can be rapidly tested in relevant and validated animal models.
  • Develop a research infrastructure that promotes collaboration across disciplines and institutions, trains the next generation of scientists, and speeds dissemination of information.


David Holtzman
Scientific Director

Anneliese Schaefer
Executive Director

Want to participate?

Learn more about Hope Center Research Groups, seminars, and other events for investigators at Washington University.

Research Groups



The Hope Center was formed out of a collaborative alliance between Washington University and Hope Happens.  For more about this history and Hope Happens, click below.


The Hope Center is a virtual center. Our faculty members are based on the Medical and Danforth Campuses, with diverse research programs that bring complementary expertise to the shared goal of better understanding neurological disorders and developing therapies.