The Virginia Alzheimer's Disease Center offers an array of research resources to advance transformative science in the area of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias at the University of Virginia and partner organizations. 

One of the primary goals of the VADC is to foster a leading, collaborative environment where our researchers can thrive. We do this by connecting multidisciplinary teams, hosting events and conferences, providing seed funding & access to shared resources, developing excellent ADRC core services, recruiting a robust cohort of AD participants, their care providers, and healthy controls, offering targeted administrative support to investigators, and educating the next generation of Alzheimer's disease researchers.

We invite you to explore information about these resources below and to contact us with any questions or requests for collaboration. 

Seed Funding

Present Opportunities

Please visit the UVA Brain Institute website for current seed funding opportunities. Future requests for proposals specific to the VADC will be added here when issued.

2023 Awards

2023 VADC Pitch & Catch Awardees

  • Ukpong Eyo, PhD - Department of Neuroscience
  • Lulu Jiang, PhD - Department of Neuroscience
  • Anne Kenworthy, PhD - Department of Molecular Physiology & Biological Physics
  • Shannon Reilly, PhD -Department of Neurology


Past Cycles

2021 Transformative Aging and Neurodegeneration Pilot Grant Awardees 

The Virginia Alzheimer's Disease Center (VADC) and the UVA Brain Institute awarded seed funding to investigator-initiated projects from researchers across UVA who are working in the areas of dementia, neurocognition, or data science related to AD/ADRD. These projects focus on themes of the VADC and NAPA research milestones and are collaborative, multidisciplinary, or show the potential to generate transformative science in the area of AD/ADRD.

VADC Basic Science Pilot Funding

George Bloom, PhD - VADC Basic Science Core

This project focuses on the first Aim of the Basic Science Core: to connect resources with Alzheimer's disease researchers at UVA. The project will create and maintain a registry of resources that are available at UVA for research on AD. Through the registry common resources will be identified, compiled, and maintained to be made available on short notice to all researchers who might want to use them.

Advancing Recruitment Science and Community Engagement in Alzheimer's Disease Research among Patients and Caregivers within Diverse Populations

Project Team: Ishan Williams, PhD; Randy Jones, PhD; Travonia Brown-Hughes, PhD

The mission of the ORE core is to provide the expertise to consistently facilitate enrollment and outreach methods, to facilitate engagement, and to understand partnerships with populations that often bear a disproportionate burden from AD. The ORE core will develop relationships to help coordinate, engage and provide awareness for participation in clinical trials. These partnerships will be strengthened in the ORE Core by providing engagement opportunities intended to address the knowledge of AD, its impact on marginalized communities, and ensuring that clinical research is accessible and disseminated to the community at large.

Single-cell assessment of the signaling response to Alzheimer's Disease insult

Project Team: Christopher Deppmann, PhD and Eli Zunder, PhD

In their project they will apply a neural mass cytometry platform to characterize AD mouse models they have been studying in their laboratory for almost a decade. Using this approach, they expect to identify critical pathways in the development and propagation of AD pathology, which could provide novel targets for therapeutic intervention.

Community Database for Retrospective Brain MRI Analysis in Memory Disorder

Project Team: Jason Druzgal, MD PhD

In his project, Dr. Druzgal proposes to to quantify the amount of neuroimaging and clinical data on memory disorder patients archived in the Picture Archiving and communication system (PACS) and EPIC systems. He will determine the amount of useful neuroimaging data available at UVA and organize it along with relevant clinical measures in a usable database that is accessible to researchers at UVA. 

Molecular mechanism of circadian disruption in Alzheimer's disease 

Project Team: Ali Guler, PhD and Ignacio Provencio, PhD

In their proposal Dr. Guler and Dr. Provencio will work to establish the changes that occur in SCN circadian gene expression and neurophysiology during AD progression and test whether restricted light exposure and timed food access re-establishes these molecular circadian oscillations in the 5xFAD AD mouse model. This work will dovetail with their current efforts supported by the Alzheimer's Association aimed at determining the metabolic and cognitive impact of timed light, exercise, and food on male 3xTg-AD mice.

High-throughput High-resolution Imaging Human Alzheimer's Tauopathy

Project Team: Smriti Gupta, PhD; J. Julius Zhu, PhD; Li Gan, PhD; and Chun-Li Zhang, PhD

This project will create the first imaging and analysis system that enables decoding of healthy and diseased cholinergic transmission at human neurons by developing a method that combines their recently developed acetylcholine sensor with their newly established human iPSC-derived cholinergic neuron system and high-throughput high-resolution image analysis algorithms. The project will also document a new tauopathy-mediated synaptic mechanism that leads to Alzheimer's disease. 

Effective Strategies Program for Dementia Caregivers (ESP-C) Pilot

Project Team Shannon Reilly, PhD with mentorship from Carol Manning, PhD and Ishan Williams, PhD

The Effective Strategies Program (ESP) was developed at UVA Health’s Memory and Aging Care Clinic. Through 18 evidence-informed sessions, ESP aims to provide geographically, culturally, and socioeconomically diverse CRs with education about memory loss and dementia, emotional support, and evidence-informed tools to maintain high quality of life and maximize functional independence. This project aims to adapt and pilot the Effective Strategies Program for Caregivers (ESP-C). 


Shared Resource Database

The VADC Basic Science Core, under the direction of Drs. George Bloom and Harry Sontheimer, maintains a database of research resources that are available to the UVA community of ADRD researchers. This includes scientific expertise, antibodies, animals, cells, tissues, special equipment, and other assets. These resources may be of particular interest to those performing pilot studies or those who have limited experience in the area of neurodegenerative diseases. 

Contact Dr. George Bloom to access the shared resource database or with any questions.

ADRC Cores

The VADC is made up of 8 cores - each with specialized areas of expertise - that are integrated together to collectively achieve our mission of characterizing and reducing the impact of care partner stress in Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

Explore Cores

Cohort Data

The VADC maintains a specialized database and biospecimen repository that includes individuals with dementia, care partners of patients with dementia, and healthy participants. As we continue to grow our database, our goal is to comprehensively reflect the economic, geographic, racial and ethnic diversity of Virginia, West Virginia, and Appalachia in our cohort of participants. This data is available to our research collaborators by request & approval.

Contact [email protected] for more information

Institutional Support Services

The University of Virginia and UVA Health System have a wide range of resources available to clinical, translational, and basic science researchers across the institution. 

View a list of our Professional Resources

Request Services or A Consultation

We are glad to lend our expertise and to find ways to support interested researchers. Whether you are new to UVA, new to ADRD research, or a well-established investigator, please contact us to discuss your research program!

Contact [email protected] for more information