Grand Challenges Brain and Neuroscience

Brain and Neuroscience 

In June 2022, the University announced a commitment to invest more than $75 million in an interdisciplinary effort to pioneer life-changing advances in neuroscience while simultaneously mapping the workings of the human brain. This push will help scientists better understand perplexing conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and autism, as well as how the brain functions over a lifespan. 

The initial studies will: 

  • Catalog neurodiversity among the many forms of autism to develop enhanced interventions and educational approaches for students from early childhood onward. 

  • Investigate why caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients are more likely to develop dementia than their peers who don’t serve as caregivers. 

  • Test the capacity for focused ultrasound to help deliver immunological therapies across the brain’s protective barrier. 

  • Deploy multiple technologies to better understand the brain’s overall circuitry and development. 

This effort is being led by the UVA Brain Institute and engages faculty, students, and staff from the schools of Medicine, Engineering, Arts & Sciences, Nursing, Data Science, Leadership and Public Policy, and Education and Human Development.  

UVA Brain Institute



Past Events 

In September 2021, the University organized a series of idea generation events related to the Brain and Neuroscience for the UVA research community. Ideas were collected via the IdeaNote platform, and then refined to determine areas for investment.  


In November 2021, researchers gathered with University leaders in the Dome Room of the Rotunda for a Grand Challenges Brain and Neuroscience Forum that included four focus areas: