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Riccio Fund for Neuroscience announces four research awards at UMass Chan

Date Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2019
The Dan and Diane Riccio Fund
for Neuroscience will support
four $50,000 seed grants in 2019.

In October 2017, Diane M. (Casey) Riccio, PhD, GSBS ’03, and her husband, Dan Riccio, donated $1 million to support neuroscience research at UMass Medical School. These funds were provided to fuel innovative discoveries through interdisciplinary collaborations that deepen the understanding of brain function and the processes that go awry in neurological diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders.

The Dan and Diane Riccio Fund for Neuroscience will support four $50,000 seed grants in 2019. Two of the funded applications are new this year; the others are renewals of last year’s awards. The recipients and their projects are:

Daryl A. Bosco, PhD, associate professor of neurology, and Dori P. Schafer, PhD, assistant professor of neurobiology, for Investigating microglial dysfunction induced by ALS-linked Profilin-1

Kensuke Futai, PhD, assistant professor of neurobiology, and Douglas T. Golenbock, MD, the Pillar Chair in Biomedical Research and professor of medicine, for The roles of inflammasome-dependent cytokines in Alzheimer's Disease and seizures

Andrei A. Korostelev, PhD, associate professor of RNA therapeutics and biochemistry & molecular pharmacology; Fen-Biao Gao, PhD, the Governor Paul Cellucci Chair in Neuroscience Research and professor of neurology; and Joel D. Richter, PhD, the Arthur F. Koskinas Chair in Neuroscience and professor of molecular medicine, for Structural understanding of ribosome dysregulation in neurological diseases

Michael R. Volkert, PhD, professor of microbiology & physiological systems, and Hemant Khanna, PhD, associate professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, for Gene therapy for oxidative stress-induced retinal neurodegeneration

“The mission of the NeuroNexus Institute at UMass Medical School is to catalyze interdisciplinary interactions among basic scientists, translational researchers and clinician scientists, forming interdisciplinary teams that tackle innovative projects; achieve breakthroughs in basic neuroscience knowledge; and accelerate development and implementation of cutting-edge therapies to treat neurological conditions,” said David R. Weaver, PhD, professor of neurobiology and executive director of the NeuroNexus Institute. “We are delighted that the support provided by the Riccio family will enable these four exciting and interdisciplinary projects to move forward.”

Related story on UMassMedNow:
Riccio Fund for Neuroscience awards first research grants