May 24, 2023

NIH Grant Received for Innovative Neuroscience Research

Associate Professor and Department Chair Dr. Tamily Weissman has secured a $411,150 research grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Weissman’s proposed three-year project, A new in vivo zebrafish model to study alpha-synuclein aggregation in Lewy Body Disease, will investigate mechanisms that may cause aggregation of the protein alpha-synuclein in Dementia with Lewy Bodies and Parkinson’s disease. The understanding gained through this research may further the development of new therapies that can target and prevent disease progression. This grant will provide transformative biomedical research opportunities to Lewis & Clark undergraduates and opportunities to collaborate with colleagues at Oregon Health & Science University and Reed College. Further, beyond the lab, Dr. Weissman also uses zebrafish research in her coursework; for example, with this grant, students in her advanced Neurobiology course (Bio 422) will learn how to do in vivo imaging in zebrafish expressing DNA constructs. More information about Dr. Weissman’s fascinating (and colorful!) research is available at

NIH has 27 Institutes and Centers. Dr. Weissman’s work is being funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), via the Research Enhancement Award (R15) funding mechanism. The R15 program strives to support meritorious research, expose students to research, and strengthen the research environment of the recipient’s institution. This award is significant: in FY2022, the funding rate for R15 grants in NINDS had just a 26.7% success rate. 

This new NIH award is at least Dr. Weissman’s seventh external research grant since joining the College—it follows a series of other impressive competitive awards over the years, including but not limited to support from an NSF CAREER award, a Collins Medical Foundation grant, an NSF Major Research Instrumentation grant to purchase a confocal microscope, and a M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust Promise for Scientific Research Award.

May 2023

See Related Story, August 2023