Kavli Grants

These small, competitive awards provide an opportunity for Kavli Institute for Brain Science investigators to fund pilot projects that may be too unorthodox to receive funding through traditional avenues, enabling them to generate the preliminary data to go on to apply for NIH funding. Priority is given to projects that involve inter-lab collaboration (at least one of the collaborating investigators must be a member of KIBS). Request for applications is typically announced in March and due in May for awards starting July 1.

Kavli funding enabled KIBS Investigator Vince Ferrera, in the Department of Neuroscience, to pair up with Elisa Konofagou in the Department of Biomedical Engineering to develop a potentially revolutionary method for intravenous drug delivery. They are refining a novel minimally invasive technique developed by Dr. Konofagou (Focused Ultrasound) to carry pharmacological agents across the blood-brain barrier and deliver them to targeted brain regions in primates. This could have the potential to revolutionize therapies for neurological disorders, and in basic science research replace more invasive techniques, such as intracranial microinjection.


This work has already resulted in two peer-reviewed publications:

  1. Tung YS, Marquet F, Teichert T, Ferrera V, Konofagou EE (2011) Feasibility of Noninvasive Cavitation-Guided Blood-Brain Barrier Opening Using FUS and Microbubbles in Non-Human Primates. Applied Physics Letters 98:163704.
  2. Marquet F, Tung Y-S, Teichert T, Ferrera VP, Konofagou EE (2011) Noninvasive, transient and selective blood-brain barrier opening in non-human primates in vivo. PLoS One 6(7):e22598.