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Four seed grants will be supported by the Dan and Diane Riccio Fund for Neuroscience in 2022

UMass Chan Medical School Communications

July 25, 2022
UMass alumni Dan and Diane M. Casey Riccio, PhD,
with Chancellor Michael F. Collins in 2021

The Dan and Diane Riccio Fund for Neuroscience will support four seed grants this year at UMass Chan Medical School. The goal of the fund is to catalyze interdisciplinary collaborations, leading to innovative discoveries that deepen the understanding of brain function and the processes that can go awry in neurological diseases.

UMass alumni Dan and Diane M. Casey Riccio, PhD, are the Medical School’s most generous alumni supporters. In February, the couple made its largest commitment to date, pledging $15 million to UMass Chan; $10 million to support the new Riccio ALS Accelerator Initiative and $5 million to endow the Dan and Diane Riccio Fund for Neuroscience, which was established in 2017 with a $1 million gift from the Riccios. In addition to the fund for neuroscience, the Riccios have also generously supported ALS research at UMass Chan, giving $1 million to the UMass ALS Cellucci Fund and a separate $1 million gift to support other ALS research at the Medical School.

“We are extremely grateful for the generous support of neuroscience research by the Riccio family,” said Vivian Budnik, PhD, the Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research Chair I and chair and professor of neurobiology. “This fund has already been pivotal in fostering interdisciplinary collaborations among NeuroNexus Institute laboratories, which has served to expand our understanding of complex neuroscience problems, and ultimately reveal the mechanisms underlying disease conditions in the brain. The seed grants sponsored by the Riccio Fund are already leading to larger research projects to be submitted for federal support.”

Of the four seed grants selected for support by the Dan and Diane Riccio Fund for Neuroscience, one project is a renewal from last year, while the others are new. The Department of Neurobiology administers the fund.

The 2022 recipients and their projects are:

Related UMass Chan news stories:
UMass alumni Dan and Diane Riccio pledge $15 million to advance ALS, neuroscience research
Four interdisciplinary collaborations share mission to demystify devastating brain disorders
Commencement events celebrate accomplishments of Class of 2021 at UMass Medical School
UMass Medical School to award four honorary degrees at 48th Commencement
Dan and Diane Riccio Fund for Neuroscience announces four grants