Neuroscience Discovery Grant Program

MilliporeSigma Neuroscience Discovery Grant Program

  Neuroscience Discovery Grant Program Winners

Driven by a desire to improve human health for all, we are building a network of discovery – creating connections, scientists-to-scientists and sharing insights, ideas and expertise with the goal of advancing neuroscience research. It is our goal to support upcoming leaders in their work and recognize the innovation you bring to solving the toughest challenges in neuroscience research.

Thank you to all who submitted research projects for our Neuroscience Discovery Grant Program in 2017 which focused on neuroinflammation and neurodegenerative disease research.

We are pleased to announce the following grant winners for 2017:

 Grand Prize: $5000

Kevin Guttenplan Kevin Guttenplan  
Laboratory of Ben Barres, PhD at Stanford University Stanford University

Study focus: I study how and why neurons die in disease. Specifically, I want to understand how astrocytes, the most numerous glial cells in the brain, may actively kill neurons as a part of the brain's inflammatory response.


 $1000 Prize Winners

Thomas Cirino Thomas Cirino
Laboratory of Jay McLaughlin, PhD at the University of Florida

Study focus: My research focus is the study of neurological disorders involved in pain, addiction, mood and cognition and translational therapeutics for them. My current work examines the role of the HIV-1 viral protein, Tat, in neurological dysfunction using a CNS selective, tetracycline-inducible mouse model and novel therapeutics to treat such dysfunction.


Megan Duffy
Photo credit: World Parkinson Coalition
Megan Duffy
Laboratory of Caryl Sortwell, Ph.D., Michigan State University Department of Translational Science & Molecular Medicine

Study focus: My research focuses to untangle the temporal relationship between alpha-synuclein accumulation, neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration in a novel rat model of Parkinson’s disease that more closely recapitulates the human condition.  Our results suggest that inflammation is related to the alpha-synuclein aggregation and accumulation early in disease progression, rather than acting as a reactionary consequence during the interval of mitral degeneration. My next steps will be to identify the magnitude of contribution from the innate and adaptive immune system to disease progression, and whether or not these mechanisms may be effective therapeutic targets for disease modification (if altered early in disease progression). We are very excited for the potential of this model to serve as a platform for testing therapeutics in the future.


Prabarna Ganguly Prabarna Ganguly
Laboratory of in the lab of Heather Brenhouse, PhD at Northeastern University

Study focus: The neuro-immune mechanisms by which maternal separation increases vulnerability to forming various long-lasting behavioral anomalies, and assess possible therapeutic treatments.


Eric Hamlett Eric Hamlett
Laboratory of Lotta Granholm-Bentley, Ph.D. at the University of Denver, Knoebel Institute for Healthy Aging

Study focus: My research focus is on the importance of Ω3 biology in the central nervous system. I am determining the efficacy of specific Ω3 metabolites to modulate neuroinflammation and to prevent neurodegenerative hallmarks in a mouse model of Down syndrome-related Alzheimer's disease.


Applications were judged on the following criteria:

  • Innovation and novelty
  • Potential impact of research
  • Clear communication of research to educated, technical non-specialists
  • Level of scientific rigor

Our congratulations to the award winners!

 About our Neuroscience Discovery Grant Program

The inaugural Neuroscience Discovery Grant Program recognizes graduate students* in the U.S. and Canada submitting applications describing their innovative research and connection to neuroinflammation and neurodegenerative disease and future research directions.

The Program awards one top finalist Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000 USD) and other finalists One Thousand Dollars ($1,000 USD). Up to five (5) total Prizes are awarded.

See the complete list of rules and requirements.

View our extensive offering of neuroscience-related products

*To be eligible for the Program, a Participant must (i) a current graduate student (Ph.D. or Masters) enrolled for at least 2 years OR (ii) recently graduated graduate student (Ph.D. or Masters) at a university or research institution located in the United States or Canada whose graduation date is between December 1, 2016 andDecember 31, 2018 and (iii) conducting research in neuroscience. Participants who submitted applications in prior years’ Programs are eligible but any prior participants who were finalists are not eligible for the Program.