Development Project Awards

The UW ADRC offers one-year development projects that use its resources to advance the understanding, diagnosis, and/or treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and related degenerative dementias.  In the 2024- 2025 period, the UW ADRC will fund 3-4 projects with a budget of up to $50,000 each. At least two awards will be reserved for junior applicants (Postdoctoral fellows with appropriate senior collaborators or junior faculty up to the rank of Assistant Professor). Funds would be awarded for a one-year project period, 5/1/2024 through 4/30/2025. The proposed project must be feasible within this time frame. Projects are potentially renewable for one year. Currently funded Development Project awardees are eligible to apply for a second year of funding. 

The Development Projects program replaces and extends the former Pilot Award program, and is closely linked to our new Research Education Component. The currently funded ADRC Development Projects are listed here:


Development Projects


2024- 2025

Gregory J. del Zoppo, MD, MS, Professor of Medicine, UW Neuropathology Division

Modulation of thrombin generation in the central nervous system confers resilience to Alzheimer’s disease.


Jeanne Gallée, PhD, CCC-SLP, Postdoctoral Scholar, Center for Psychometric Analyses of Aging and Neurodegeneration, UW School of Medicine

The assessment of functional communication in primary progressive aphasia


Nicole Liachko, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, UW Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine

Kinase and phosphatase dysregulation underlying neuron vulnerability to TDP-43 in FTLD-TDP and ALS


Briana Meyer, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, UW Department of Radiology

Establishing blood-brain barrier biomarkers related to Alzheimer’s disease


Learn more


2023 - 2024

Yeilim Cho, MD, MIRECC Advanced Fellow, Veterans Affairs VISN-20 Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center 

Project: Defining the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and MRI measures of glymphatic dysfunction 


Angela Hanson, MD, Assistant Professor, UW Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, UW School of Medicine

Tomas Vaisar, PhD, Research Professor and Director, Proteomics and Bioinformatics Core, Diabetes Research Center, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition, Department of Internal Medicine, UW School of Medicine

Project: Heterogeneity of Brain Lipoprotein Particles in Alzheimer’s Disease


Mehmet Kurt, PhD,  Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, UW

Project:  Investigating in-vivo brain mechanical properties as Alzheimer’s Disease biomarkers through multifrequency MR Elastography


Andrew B. Stergachis, MD, PhD, FACMG, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Genome Sciences, Division of Medical Genetics, UW

Project:  Resolving Alzheimer’s disease risk loci using phased long-read chromatin maps


2022 - 2023


Niranjan Balu, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, UW Radiology

Carolyn Parsey, PhD, Assistant Professor, UW Neurology

Project: Vascular contributions to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias 


Swati Mishra, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, UW Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology 

Project: Defining the role of endo-lysosomal dysfunction in human microglia harboring Alzheimer’s disease (AD)- predisposing mutations in a 2-dimensional monolayer and a novel 3-dimensional cerebral organoid model system


Monica Sanchez-Contreras, PhD, Acting Instructor, UW Computer Science and Engineering

Project: Somatic mtDNA mutations as contributors to amyloid pathology and tauopathy in Alzheimer’s disease


Jason Webster, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, UW Radiology

Project: Facilitating brain biorepository use: Atlas-based Labelling of neuropathological sampling


Oleg Zaslavsky, PhD, Associate Professor, UW Biobehavioral Nursing & Health Informatics

Project: Speech-based coherence for early detection of adverse health events in people living with Alzheimer's disease 




2021 - 2022

Read about the 2021 - 2022 Development project awards

Kimberly Alonge, PhD. Acting Instructor, UW Medicine

Project: Brain glycan sulfation recoding in Alzheimer's disease


Katherine Prater, PhD. Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Jayadev Lab), Department of Neurology, UW Medicine

Project: Understanding microglia responses in resilience, cognitive decline, and neuropathological proteopathy


Astrid Suchy-Dicey, PhD. Assistant Professor, Elson S. Floyd Collecge of Medicine, Washington State University

Project: Plasma phosphorylated tau protein and Alzheimer's disease in American Indians: The Strong Heart Study


Yuliang Wang, PhD. Research Assistant Professor, Paul Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering/Institute for Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine, University of Washington

Project: Using metabolic network modeling to improve the maturity of iPSC-derived microglia for Alzheimer's disease



Read about the 2020-2021 projects.

Meredith Course, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow, Division of Medical Genetics, UW Medicine. 

Project: Novel Transcripts of PSEN1 and PSEN2 in Familial and Sporadic Alzheimer Disease


Deidre Jansson, MSc, PhD Senior Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, UW School of Medicine

Project: Defining the cellular and transcriptomics architecture of the choroid plexus in Alzheimer's disease: a pilot study


Elizabeth Rhea, PhD Research Biologist, VA Puget Sound Health Care System/ Research Assistant Professor, Division of Gerontology, UW

Project: Soluble insulin receptor levels in Alzheimer's disease


Past Pilot Projects

The Development Projects program replaces and extends the former Pilot Award program. The previously funded ADRC Pilot Projects are listed here:


Junior Investigators and projects:

Douglas Barthold, PhD Research Assistant Professor, Comparative Health Outcomes, Policy, and Economics (CHOICE) Institute, Department of Pharmacy, UW.

Project: Alzheimer’s disease related neuropathology among patients with medication treated type 2 diabetes in a community-based autopsy cohort

Erik S. Carlson, MD, PhD Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, UW.

Project: Compensatory Cerebellar Circuits in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer Disease. 

Judit Marsillach, PhD Acting Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Medical Genetics, UW.

Project: Paraoxonase-1 as an early biomarker of Alzheimer’s Disease


Michelle Erickson, PhD Research Assistant Professor, UW Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine / Research Biologist, VA Puget Sound Healthcare System.

Project: Serum amyloid A as a liver-derived mediator of Alzheimer’s disease.

Robert Freishtat, MD, MPH Chief of Emergency Medicine, Children’s National Health System/ Professor of Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine, and Integrative Systems Biology, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Project: Neurodegeneration by adipocyte-derived exosomes in dementia.

Hesamoddin Jahanian, PhD Assistant Professor, Integrated Brain Imaging Center (IBIC), Department of Radiology, UW.

Project: Development of Ultrafast Resting-State fMRI as a Biomarker for Alzheimer’s Disease. 

Richard S. Morrison, PhD Staatz Professor of Neurological Surgery, UW; Director, Center for Neuroproteomics.

Project: Epigenetic role for histone deacetylase 2 in Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis. 

Paul Valdmanis, PhD Assistant Professor, Division of Medical Genetics, UW.

Project: Contribution of human-specific repeat expansions to Alzheimer’s Disease.


Martin Darvas, PhD Multiplex assay for the quantification of antigens in paraffin-embedded tissue.

Meghan Jernigan, MPH Alzheimer’s disease research pilot for American Indians and Alaska natives. 

Caitlin Latimer, MD, PhD Human and Non-Human Primate Synaptic Damage. 

Erica Melief, PhD Dopaminergic influence on amyloid beta.

Jessica Young, PhD Probing the role of endocytic network in sporadic AD risk using human induced pluripotent stem cells. 

- 2015

Andrew Hoofnagle, MD, PhD Quantification of A-beta and Tau in CSF by LC-MS/MS.

Olena Korvatska, PhD Role of the R41H TREM2 variant in the pathogenesis of late onset AD.

Brian Kraemer, MD, PhD Preclinical Study of D2 Antagonists for Neuroprotection Against Pathological Tau.

Tara Madhyastha, PhD Neuroimaging Biomakers of Cognitive Resilience Among APOE-4 Carriers.

Desiree Marshall, MD Novel Data and Tissue Resource to Study CTE and AD Neuropathology.

Lonnie Nelson, PhD Strong Heart Stroke Study for Urban Indians and Alaska Natives Americans.

Min Shi, PhD Pilot study of potential Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers in human saliva.

Jeannine Skinner, PhD Health Education, Aerobic and Resistance Training (HEART) in Prediabetic African Americans to compare the effects of exercise and health education on the thinking abilities, insulin sensitivity, and levels of Alzheimer's biomarkers in a group of African Americans with prediabetes.

Jessica (Foraker) Tulloch, PhD Epigenetics of APOE in Alzheimer’s Disease Neurons.

Adrienne Wang, PhD The effects of natural variation on Alzheimer's pathology in Drosophila. 


Seed Grant Projects

Alexander Mendenhall, PhD Cell autonomous and cell non autonomous pathologies caused by expression of A-beta, Tau and alpha-synuclein in C. elegans.

C. Dirk Keene, MD, PhD Neuropathology Core resource for induced pluripotent stem cells.