Harrison Undergraduate Research Award

The University of Virginia's Harrison Undergraduate Research Award program funds outstanding undergraduate research projects conducted by current first-, second-, and third-year full-time UVA undergraduate students who work under the guidance of a University of Virginia faculty member. Each recipient plans and implements a substantial and significant research project. Applicants are urged to think creatively in designing their research projects and applications that integrate different areas and approaches are encouraged. Recipients submit an abstract of their research and present in the Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Spring of the academic year. More information about this award is available here. The following Neuroscience Majors have been recipients of this award:

2023-2024 Recipients, Listed Alphabetically (Graduation Class)

Vivian Cao-Dao (2024)     “Role of Microglial P2RY12 on Capillary Associated Microglia Density during Mouse Development” (Mentor: Ukpong Eyo)

Sophia Cheng (2024)       “Investigating the Role of Microglial P2RY12 in Seizures” (Mentor: Ukpong Eyo)                                                             

Kathryn Chung (2024)      “The Role of Cell Death and Microglia in Regulating Neural Progenitor Cell Proliferation to Promote Plasticity and Return to Homeostasis” (Mentor: Tracy Larson)                                                             

Avery Dougald (2024)      “The Effect of Caffeine to Treat Apnea of Prematurity on Excitation and Inhibition Levels in the Infant Brain” (Mentor: Meghan Puglia)                                                             

Zachary Johnson (2024)  “Peritumoral changes in extracellular matrix in gliomas-associated epilepsy” (Mentor: Harald Sontheimer)                     

Shreya Nagarajan (2024)  “Effect of Palmitoylation of P75 Neurotrophin Receptors on Neuron apoptosis” (Mentor: Chris Deppmann)       

Alex Perez (2024)             “Inducing Neural Growth in the Avian Song Control Circuit with Apoptotic Cell Death” (Mentor: Tracy Larson)               

Emaan Qillawala (2024)   “The Biological Mechanisms Underlying The Telescoping Effect in Women” (Mentor: Wendy Lynch)                                 

Lauren Silsdorf (2024)     “Modeling Parent-Child Relationship Quality with Fronto-Limbic Functional Connectivity” (Mentor: Jamie Morris)                                                             

Abhi Verma (2024)            “Investigating the role of Cst7 expression in the 5xFAD model of Alzheimer's disease” (Mentor: John Lukens)                

Emily Zhu (2024)               “A Computational and Imaging Study of the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART)” (Mentor: Per Sederberg)        

2022-2023 Recipients, Listed Alphabetically (Graduation Class)

Alexander Atalay (2023) "Analyzing the Effects of Screen Time on Neural Development in Adolescents using MRI"  (Mentor: Jason Druzgal)

Jack Boyd (2023) "The role of astrocytes in regulating naturally-occurring neuronal turnover" (Mentor: Tracy Larson)  

Anirudh Gadicherla (2023) "Identifying a Novel Hypothalamic Circuit that Controls Brown Fat Thermogenesis"  (Mentor: John N. Campbell)  

Rithvik Gundlapal (2023)  "A Comparative Study of Cortical Neuron Activation between Hyperventilation-Induced and Spontaneous Seizures" (Mentor: Mark Beenhakker)

Caroline (Coco) Holliday (2023) "The Role of Microglial Receptor Protein CLEC7A during Alzheimer's Disease" (Mentor: John Lukens)   

Megan Liu (2023)  "Assessing Parent-Child Interactional Quality via Dyadic Brain Synchrony, Oxytocin Receptor Gene Methylation, and Engagement Scores" (Mentor:  Tanya Evans)    

Kandace Moore (2023) "Mapping Neural Circuits for Satiety" (Mentor: John N. Campbell)   

Joelle Nilak (2023) "Charecterization of reactive astrocytes in the optic nerve head of a Pax6 developmental disease mouse model" (Mentor:  Xiaorong Liu)   

Huayi Phyl Peng (2023) "A Computational Approach to Studying Memory Plasticity Rules"  (Mentor: William B. Levy)  

Elizabeth Scalzi (2023) "Establishment of a novel model for brain overgrowth without detrimental impacts on neuronal survival or behavior" (Mentor Tracy Larson)   

Izzy Seka (2023) "Myosin XVI role in hair cells" (Mentor: Jung Bum Shin)     

Ginger Smith (2023) "Elucidating neural crest cell phagocytic activity during early zebrafish neurodevelopment" (Mentor: Sarah Kucenas)     

Justin Wheelock (2023) "Identifying the impact of sustained brain states on memory judgments" (Mentor: Nicole Long)   

2021-2022 Recipients, Listed Alphabetically (Graduation Class)

Reem Al-Humadi (2022) “Effect of Pyridostatin on G-Quadruplex Secondary Structure Stabilization in ALS" (Mentor: Yuh-Hwa Wang)

Charlie Brennan (2022) "Investigating the role of Dopamine signaling in circadian feeding, behavior, and body weight regulation" (Mentor: Ali Guler)

Hannah Cahill (2022) “Exploration of depression etiology through aryl hydrocarbon receptor activity in the hippocampus” (Mentor: Alban Gaultier)

Julia Davenport (2022) "Investigation of ARC Drd-1-expressing neurons involved in feeding behavior" (Mentor: Qi Zhang-Guler Lab)

Arnav Mehra (2022)  "GABA Modulation of Focal Motor to Bilateral Tonic-Clonic Seizures" (Mentor: Jaideep Kapur)

Julia Pan (2023) " Addressing stressors associated with the transition to parenthood: Examining a teletherapy intervention for new parents" (Mentor Melvin Wilson)

Paulina Payne (2022) “Effect of TNFR Superfamily Members on Sensory Neuron Development" (Mentor: Shayla Vradenburgh-Deppman Lab)

Kavya Parekh (2023) "The Role of BDNF in Structural Development of AgRP "hunger" neurons"  (Mentor: Christopher Deppman)

Daniel Shapiro (2022) "The influence of the meningeal lymphatic system on neuronal health after traumatic brain injury" (Mentor: John Lukens)

Suchet Taori (2022) “A Novel Approach to Immunotherapy for Brain Cancers” (Mentor: Benjamin Purow)

Heath Yancey (2022) "The Cradle Will Rock: Exploring Sleep's Role in Infant's Developing Mental Health" (Mentor: Tobias Grossman)

2020-2021 Recipients, Listed Alphabetically (Graduation Class) Click here to read full article from UVA Today

Fatima Ahsan (2021)  “Axonal Projections of the Zebra Finch Caudal Mesopallium” (mentor: Dan Meliza)     

Danny Chen  (2021) "Repair of noise-induced sensory hair cell damage requires XIRP2" (mentor: Jung Bum Shin)

Ashley Ewing (2021) “Elucidating a Reversed Starvation Response in Dopamine-Deficient Drosophila” (mentor: Jay Hirsh)

Ingrid Kenyon (2021) "Uncovering the Genetic Basis Behind Locomotor Variation in Drosophila Melanogaster" (mentor: Jay Hirsh)

Aaria Malhotra (2021) "The Effect Of Delivery Method On Social Processing Abilities In Infants" (mentor: Meghan Puglia/Jessica Connelly/James Morris)

Ann Mathew (2021) “Pannexin-1 Mediates the Transition From Acute to Chronic Paclitaxel-induced Peripheral Neuropathy” (mentor: Doug Bayliss)

Joanna Moy (2021) "Characterization of Intrinsically Photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cell Subtype Resistance to Glaucomic Degeneration” (mentor: Xiaorong Liu)

Ish Sethi (2023) "Role of Microglial GBP-family Proteins in Fighting Cerebral Toxoplasmosis in STAT1-deficient Mice" (mentor: Tajie Harris)

Katerina Silis (2021) "Uncovering the Role of Cannabinoid Compounds in Epilepsy” (mentor: Mark Beenhakker)

2019-2020 Recipients, Listed Alphabetically (Graduation Class)

Robin Bai (2020)         

Krystyna Cios (2021)

Nisha Dabhi (2020)

Elsa Nylund (2020)

Lasyapriya Pidaparthi (2020)

Samantha Strohm (2020)

Elizabeth Wat (2020)

Isabelle Witteveen (2020)

2018-2019 Recipients, Listed Alphabetically (Graduation Class)

Patrick Andrews (2019)   

Calli Bellinger (2019)     

Samantha Crowley (2020)

Diogo Miguel Goncalves Fortes (2019)

Madison Hecht (2019)

Dove-Anna Johnson (2020)

Aman Kapadia (2019)

Sara Martin (2019)

Mary Grace Milam (2019)

Rahul Patel (2019)

Vignesh Rajasekaran (2020)

Alisha Sahu (2019)

Jimmy Woznak (2019)

2017-2018 Recipients, Listed Alphabetically (Grauation Class)

Joseph Ephrem (2018)           

Lucy Jin (2018)

Alex Lupi (2018)

Thomas Parks Remcho (2018)

Benjamin Scott Winter (2018)



Double Hoo Research Grant Recipients

The Double Hoo Research Grant supports pairs of undergraduate and graduate scholars seeking to pursue research together. The program is intended to encourage collaborative interaction between the undergraduate and graduate communities throughout the University. These collaborations provide opportunities for more advanced research for undergraduates and valuable mentoring experiences for the graduate student. More information about this award may be found here. These Neuroscience Majors have been recipients of this award:

2021-2022 Recipients, Listed Alphabetically (Graduation Class)

Sai Gajula (Class of 2023) For her project in collaboration with Yen Nguyen (Dept.of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology-Graduate Student)

Caroline Holliday (Class of 2023) For her project in collaboration with Hannah Ennerfelt (John Lukens Lab)

Ish Sethi (Class of 2023) For his project in collaboration with Maureen Cowan (Neuroscience-Graduate Student)

2020-2021 Recipients, Listed Alphabetically (Graduation Class)

Emily Bian (Class of 2022) For her project in collaboration with Joshua Milstein (Neuroscience-Graduate Student)

Charles Brennan (Class of 2022) For his project in collaboration with Qijun Tang (Biology-Graduate Student)

Yunyu Lim (Class of 2021) For her project in collaboration with Merci Best (Biology-Graduate Student)

2019-2020 Recipients, Listed Alphabetically (Graduation Class)

Alison Goldstein (Class of 2021) For her project in collaboration with Amalia McDonald (Psychology-Graduate student)

Jeewoo Kim (Class 0f 2020 who received additional funding) For her project in collaboration with Sihan Li (Biochemistry-Molecular Genetics major in School of Medicine)

2018-2019 Recipients, Listed Alphabetically (Graduation Class)

Megan Chappell (Class of 2019) For her project in collaboration with Anthony Fernandez-Castaneda (5th year Medicine)

Kate Haynes (Class of 2019) For her project in collaboration with Caroline Kelsey (Psychology-Grad).

Jeewoo Kim (Class 0f 2020) For her project in collaboration with Sihan Li (Biochemistry-Molecular Genetics major in School of Medicine)

Zeming Eileen Zheng (Class of 2019) For her project incollaboration with Piotr Przanowski (Post-Doc School of Medicine)

2017-2018 Recipients, Listed Alphabetically (Graduation Class)

Kate Haynes (Class of 2019) For her project in collaboration with Caroline Kelsey (Psychology-Grad).

Zeming Eileen Zheng (Class of 2019) For her project incollaboration with Robyn Sherman (Biochemistry-Molecular Genetics graduate student)

 Additional Awards and Scholarships

Madison Monroe-Mohajerin (Class of 2023): received the UVA College Minerva Award which funds scholarly projects conducted by College students during the summer.

Rahul Patel (Class of 2019): awarded the Schwager Scholarship, which supports ten weeks of summer research in a UVA biology laboratory or at the Mountain Lake Biological Station under the direction of a Biology faculty mentor.

McKenzie Prillaman (Class of 2017): received the UVA College Minerva Award which funds scholarly projects conducted by College students during the summer.

Aman Manglamurti (Class of 2017): awarded a Hutcheson Foundation Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship.