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Neurobiology of Brain Disorders Award

The McKnight Neurobiology of Brain Disorders Award (NBD Award) assists scientists working to apply the knowledge achieved through basic research to human brain disorders, and who demonstrate a commitment to equitable and inclusive lab environments.

Each year, up to four awards are given. Awards provide $100,000 per year for three years. Funds may be used toward a variety of research activities. They may not be used for the recipient’s salary.

Intellectual Property rights resulting from the research—including patents, copyrights, processes, or formulae—will be the rights of the sponsoring institution to the extent required by such policies. The information derived from the research will be published in a form that is available to the interested public and made available to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.

Use of Award Funds

We are interested in proposals that address the biological mechanisms of neurological and psychiatric disorders. This includes proposals that provide mechanistic insights into neurological functions at the synaptic, cellular, molecular, genetic or behavioral level across different species, including humans and vertebrate and invertebrate model organisms. A new additional area of interest is the contribution of the environment to brain disorders. We are particularly interested in proposals that incorporate new approaches and in those that provide potential paths for therapeutic interventions. Collaborative and cross-disciplinary applications are encouraged.

Environmental Contributions to Brain Disorders

Early-life environmental stress is a powerful disposing factor for later neurological and psychiatric disorders. Studies show communities of color are at higher risk for these stressors, which range from environmental (e.g. climate, nutrition, exposure to chemicals, pollution) to social (e.g. family, education, housing, poverty). From a clinical perspective, understanding how environmental factors contribute to brain disease is essential for developing effective therapies.

As 2023 is the first year of this new additional focus, we welcome inquiries about the relevance of a particular research proposal to this focus.