Lightning Funding Award

Lightning Funding Awards

The Wisconsin ADRC Research Education Component (REC) awarded the following researchers Lightning Funding Awards in February 2021.

nicole kehoe

Nicole Kehoe, Corinna Burger Lab, Junior undergraduate student 

Research Project Title: Adeno-associated viral gene delivery of wild-type human tau induces progressive neurodegeneration and formation of insoluble tau species in the hippocampi of middle-aged rats

Tobey Betthauser

Tobey Betthauser, Betthauser Lab, Junior Faculty, UW Department of Medicine (geriatrics)

Project: This funding will support the purchase of a high-powered computer that will enable development of longitudinal image processing code, and deployment of these pipelines to process and harmonize data from several different cohort studies (e.g. ADNI, BLSA, WRAP, BIOCARD, ADCS, NIAD, etc.). This computer will not only support my immediate research program, but will also be available to other WADRC researchers for image processing and other CPU-intensive tasks.

Reji Babygirjia

Reji Babygirija, Lamming Lab, second-year PhD student in the Cellular and Molecular Biology program

Research Project Title: To investigate the effects of protein restriction on metabolic health, cognitive functioning and Alzheimer’s disease pathology in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s Disease

Chandler Est

Chandler Est, RM Murphy Lab, fifth-year PhD student in the Biotechnology Training Program 

Research Project Title: CRISPRi-edited iPSC models of the blood brain barrier for mechanistic studies of Vitamin A transport and the implications in Alzheimer’s disease

sara Lechner

Sarah Lechner, Ciucci Lab, Associate Research Specialist/Academic Staff

Research Project Title: Whole blood RNA sequencing and analysis of biomarkers predicting degenerative disease  

This research will use RNA sequencing of whole blood samples from a validated rat model of early-onset Parkinson disease to investigate potential biomarkers and overlap with other degenerative diseases.

Laura Hancock, PhD

Laura Hancock, Junior Faculty 

Research Project Title: Randomized, Double‐Blinded, Placebo Controlled Pilot Trial of the Feasibility of High Definition Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and Cognitive Training in Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment 

The funding helps support us in measuring the cognitive effects of these interventions!

About the Lightning Funding Awards

UW–Madison trainees and researchers interested in obtaining funding to support research direct costs should consider applying for a REC Lightning Funding Award. Award amounts range between $500 and $5,000.

The mission of the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Research Center Research Education Component (REC) is to inspire and train the next generation of Alzheimer's disease researchers. We do this by supporting educational and career development activities and promoting Alzheimer's disease-centered research instruction that helps researchers become independent future Alzheimer's disease research leaders.

Funding could be used to support research/experimental supplies including the following:

  • Animal costs
  • Software
  • Assay kits (biomarker and other assays)
  • Genotyping 
  • Data costs 
  • Neuroimaging costs


Recipients must be students or staff at UW–Madison and must meet the following criteria:

  • Undergraduate through junior faculty
  • Engaged in a current research project connected to Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder