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Recent grants received

Date Posted: Monday, November 27, 2023

The Epilepsy Division Support Team

Pegah Afra, MD, of The Epilepsy Division in Neurology is pleased to share they are growing the clinical research in their program with new awards financing two clinical trials for the next five years.  Eligible patients with focal onset epilepsy now have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials of XEN1101 as adjunctive therapy or repeated daily sessions of transcranial cathodal direct current stimulation (tDCS) with the STRATSTIM device. 


The Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Program logoThe Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) Program celebrated its sixth anniversary at UMass Chan in May 2024. Brenda Wong, MD, Clinical Director shared, "We are very grateful to Charley's Fund, for their continued support in our DMD-focused comprehensive care and research program." 

The Charley Fund initially granted the program a 6 million dollar award which supported the program's growth over the first five years, and has awarded the program a renewed 1.8 million dollar award over the next three years. 

In addition, they have received three new grant awards, to offer three more clinical trials for our patients. 

We are excited to continue our clinical research supporting our clinical patient care.

Anindita Deb, MDThe UMass HDSA Center of Excellence Partner Site, under the leadership of Dr. Anindita Deb, will continue to be supported for 2024 to provide high-quality multi-disciplinary care to Huntington's disease patients in the Central and Western MA region. 

For more information, see the HDSA news update here:

Huntington's Disease Center of Excellence

PolyBio grant recipients; Rigel Chan, PhD, Elaine Lim, PhD, Fiachra Humphries, PhDEffects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on neurodegenerative disease pathology. In February 2024, Rigel Chan, PhD, Elaine Lim, PhD, Fiachra Humphries, PhD, of UMass Chan Medical School and Benjamin Readhead, PhD, of Arizona State University have received the PolyBio research grant as part of their long covid research program. Learn more here.

Sandra Almeida, PhD, Almeida LabIn October of 2023, Sandra Almeida, PhD, of Almeida Lab received a grant from the National Institute of Aging (NIA) to develop an iPSC-derived neurovascular unit to study the different causes leading to the loss of the progranulin protein contributes to FTD. This endeavor will also include developing a platform model to identify and characterize disease-relevant phenotypes. 

This funding will also allow her to devise ways to reverse the effects of the loss of the progranulin protein. She will seek methods to boost progranulin levels in human cells relevant to FTD restoring them to health to delay disease progression and neurodegeneration. 



Brian Silver, MDBrian Silver, MD, and Vice Chair of Clinical Operations in Neurology, in collaboration with Tracey Madson, MD, PhD, FAHA, FACEP, from Brown University, School of Public Health has received a grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

The grant will investigate, The Role of Sex Hormones in Stroke Risk: A Sex-Specific Integrative Omics Analysis in the NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine Cohorts.

BE Fast community awareness event at a local WooSox gameThe Stroke Public Awareness Collaboration Project made possible with Massachusetts Public Health and MORE Advertising, increased their grant award for the Start on the Street event for UMass Memorial Health.

The “BE-FAST” stroke awareness campaign empowering children with tools for recognizing and responding to stroke symptoms, received a second innovative grant to purchase additional BE-FAST stroke education magnets and 10 blood pressure cuffs for the event.