Limited submission opportunity: 2015 David Mahoney Neuroimaging Program

Vanderbilt University may nominate one candidate for the 2015 David Mahoney Neuroimaging Program. This award provides $200,000 over three years for projects aimed at improving human brain and brain-immune functioning in health and disease.

The foundation is interested in high-risk, innovative ideas that have direct clinical application. Eligible investigators should be at the assistant professor level or in the first few years of their associate professor appointment and not have received more than one independent research grant (R01 from the NIH or equivalent from another federal agency).

Studies should be oriented to the human. Animal model studies will be considered only if they relate directly to the human but cannot yet feasibly be undertaken in humans, and are anticipated to be translated into the human following the three-year grant program. All proposals seeking to develop new imaging technologies must provide preliminary evidence of feasibility and evidence of the investigator’s experience using the technology. Investigators proposing patient-oriented studies should provide preliminary evidence that the required numbers of participants—patients and controls—are available at the involved research institution.

Submitted proposals should focus on imaging in patients or patient tissues and healthy volunteers.

Previously funded studies under this program have focused primarily on 1) understanding normal brain functioning, how it is altered by disease or injury, and how it recovers or repairs; 2) assessing and improving diagnostic and therapeutic approaches; and 3) refining and advancing imaging technologies to address specific clinical questions. In addition to these three general areas, it is becoming increasingly apparent that neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and depression, start long before they are clinically evident.

The foundation, therefore, encourages studies that seek to understand developmental processes of disease, surrogate measures of early disease existence, and measures of disease progression. Also, for chronic traumatic encephalopathy and Alzheimer’s disease, the role of tau is becoming of increasing interest, and the foundation is receptive to considering studies on how to image tau.

Anyone interested in being considered as one of Vanderbilt’s nominees must submit the following (in PDF format) to by 5 p.m. on Monday, March 2:

1. Brief (two-page maximum) research plan including summary budget;
2. Brief statement of support from department chair/center director; and
3. A brief CV or NIH biosketch.

Submissions should reference the program name in the subject line of the email.

Once received, all proposals will be forwarded to an internal review committee that will choose the final nominees. The chosen nominees will submit a full proposal to the foundation by the April 7 deadline.

If you have any questions about the foundation or its interests and priorities, please contact Janey Wang (, program manager, VUMC Office of Research (615-322-0522).