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Fellowships and Awards

Kavli Postdoctoral Award for Academic Diversity

Kavli Institute for Neuroscience Postdoctoral Fellowships for Academic Diversity were established in 2021 to support exceptional scholars who bring a diversity of perspectives, identities, and backgrounds to academic research, including those from groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences. The Kavli Institute for Neuroscience at the Yale School of Medicine is committed to fostering and supporting an inclusive and representative neuroscience research community. Diversity is vital to achieving excellence and innovation in scientific research.

2022 Award

Functional Link Between Vascular Leptomeningeal Cells and Aß Accumulation in Alzheimer’s Disease

Postdoctoral Fellow: LaShae Nicholson

Mentor: Stephen Strittmatter (Neurology and Neuroscience)

Role of Anterior Cingulate Cortex Inhibitory and Excitatory Neurons on Associative Opioid Tolerance

Postdoctoral Fellow: Rafael Perez

Mentor: Marina Picciotto (Psychiatry)

2021 Award

Sex-specific or Shared Neurobiological Features of Transdiagnostic Psychiatric Illnesses Risk in Childhood and Adolescence

Postdoctoral Fellow: Elvisha Dhamala

Mentor: Avram Holmes (Psychology)

Kavli Postdoctoral Fellowship

Kavli Institute for Neuroscience Postdoctoral Fellowships were established to enable scientists within three years of earning a PhD the opportunity to pursue new and innovative research at the boundaries between neuroscience and other disciplines, such as engineering, physics, chemistry and bioinformatics.

2022 Award

  • Priyanka Jamadagni - Investigating PTSD Driver Genes in a Zebrafish Model Mentors: Ellen Hoffman (Child Study Center, Neuroscience) Matthew Girgenti (Psychiatry)
  • Maryann Platt - Maintenance of blood-brain barrier integrity in hibernators Mentors: Elena Gracheva (Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Neuroscience) Anne Eichmann (Cardiology, Cellular and Molecular Physiology)
  • Tal Yatziv - Neurocognitive Mechanisms of Caregiving Across the Perinatal Period Mentors: Helena Rutherford (Child Study Center) Phillip Corlett (Psychiatry)

Past Awards


How does the “little brain” of the heart develop?

Postdoctoral Fellow: I-Uen (Yvonne) Hsu, PhD
Mentors: Rui Chang (Neuroscience, Cellular and Molecular Physiology), Lawrence Young (Cardiology, Cellular and Molecular Physiology), and Le Zhang (Neurology)


Recording and Stimulating Memory Circuits in the Human Brain

Postdoctoral Fellow: David Huberdeau, PhD
Mentors:Nick Turk-Browne (Psychology) and Eyiyemisi Damisah (Neurosurgery)


Using hibernation to understand the mechanism of touch detection by sensory neurons

Postdoctoral Fellow: Wang Zheng, PhD
Mentors: Sviatoslav Bagriantsev and Elena O. Gracheva


Mapping the cortical substrate for value-based decisions in mice

Postdoctoral Fellow: Huriye Atilgan, PhD
Mentors: Alex Kwan and Ifat Levy

Phase transitions of neurodegenerative proteins analyzed by solid-state NMR

Postdoctoral Fellow: Marcus Tuttle, PhD
Mentors: Steve Strittmatter and Kurt Zilm

Molecular and functional dissection of the heart-to-brain circuits

Postdoctoral Fellow: Qiancheng Zhao, PhD
Mentors: Rui Chang and Lawrence Young

Kavli Innovative Research Award

Since its launch in 2004, the Kavli Institute for Neuroscience has provided seed grants to Yale investigators to support early-stage, innovative brain research projects that are related to the Institute's goals. Through these grants, the Institute aims to catalyze interdisciplinary collaborations between small groups of investigators aiming to test bold, new ideas.

2022 Awards

“Identification of Genes Supporting Cortico-Cerebellar Connectivity for Language and Reading”
Investigators: Jeffrey Gruen (Pediatrics, Genetics) & Nenad Sestan (Neuroscience, Comparative Medicine, Genetics, Psychiatry)

Past Awards

2021 Awards

Elucidating the Role of Neural Activity in the Development of Thalamic Feature Selectivity
Investigators: Liang Liang (Neuroscience) and Michael Crair (Neuroscience, Ophthalmology & Visual Science)

Exploring the continuum of threat-imminence oscillations using human iEEG
Investigators: Alfred Kaye (Psychiatry) and Eyiyemisi Damisah (Neurosurgery)

Genetic strategies to investigate the roles of GABAergic interneurons of the primate prefrontal cortex in cognitive and motivational regulation
Investigators: Hyojung Seo (Psychiatry, Neuroscience), In-Jung Kim (Ophtalmology and Visual Science, Neuroscience), Nenad Sestan (Neuroscience, Comparative Medicine, Genetics, Psychiatry), and Amy Arnsten (Neuroscience, Psychology)

Organelle Transport Mechanisms That Support Axonal Health
Investigators: Marc Hammarlund (Neuroscience, Genetics) and Shawn Ferguson (Cell Biology, Neuroscience)

2020 Awards

Engineering organoid-based brain circuits
Investigators: Flora Vaccarino (Child Study Center, Neuroscience) and Andre Levchenko (Biomedical Engineering)

Investigating the learning-dependent reorganization of functional connectivity in cortical networks
Investigators: Michael Higley (Neuroscience) and Ronald Coifman (Mathematics, Computer Science)

Elucidating the dendritic spine actin structure and dynamics at nanoscale resolution
Investigators: Anthony Koleske (Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Neuroscience) and Joerg Bewersdorf (Cell Biology, Biomedical Engineering)

2019 Awards

Dynamics of membrane tension and synaptic vesicle recycling
Investigators: Erdem Karatekin, Benjamin Machta, and David Zenisek

A paradigm shift in the study of complex social cognition
Anirvan Nandy, Monika Jadi, and Steve Chang

From connectome to transcriptome: developing a high-throughput Single-Neuron transcriptome Analysis based on Projections (SNAP-seq)
Investigators: Rui Chang and Le Zhang

Understanding self-deception
Investigators: Phillip Corlett, Zoe Chance, and Nick Turk-Browne

Synaptic mechanisms of flexible behavior
Investigators: James Jeanne and John Carlson