Neuroscience Consortium

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Note: Applications are not being accepted at this time

The Consortium, the formation of which was announced in June of 2012 at the Bio International Convention, will fund pre-clinical neuroscience research at Massachusetts academic and research institutions. Companies participating in this round include AbbVie, Biogen Idec, EMD Serono, Janssen Research & Development, Merck and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals (Consortium Members). Each of the Consortium Members has contributed to the total available project funding of $1,500,000.

In July of 2013, the MLSC announced the first round awardees under the Consortium including three grants focused on Alzheimer’s Disease, two grants focused on neuropathic pain, and one grant each focused on Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease. For this second round, the Consortium has expanded the diseases of interest and is seeking proposals focused on neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases (such as AD, PD, MS, Huntington’s, ALS), neuropathic pain and treatment-resistant depression.

Consortium Members have pooled their resources to fund the identification and validation of novel targets for the symptomatic treatment and modification of these chronic and debilitating neurological diseases. All proposals must be anchored in recognized human disease genetics and pathophysiology, or within pathways of known relevance to human disease, and should be translational, rather than exploratory. Examples of such proposals might include research that:

  • Confirms or refutes the involvement of a particular pathway or mechanism in human disease;
  • Identifies new molecular targets, or strengthens the case for a potential target, or rules out a suspected target;
  • Establishes new and improved animal models of human disease in the identified focus areas, with established face and/or construct validity;
  • Develops a method for manipulating or measuring a pathway of known human pathological relevance; or
  • Identifies or validates a biomarker than can be used for drug discovery and/or development.

While the Consortium is particularly focused on the primary disease areas specified above, the Consortium also will consider proposals for target identification and validation that address mechanisms generally involved in aging and cognition, as these processes relate to the nervous system and its health.

The Consortium will not consider proposals that propose to conduct basic science; build technology platforms; or develop animal models of unknown relevance to human disease. In addition, research related to medical devices, diagnostics, personalized medicine, behavioral interventions or other therapeutic approaches that fall outside the core research areas will not be considered responsive to this RFP.

All Massachusetts academic and research institutions are eligible to apply for grant funding through the Consortium.  There is no limit to the number of applications that may be submitted from any one institution. Applicants will submit research projects to be reviewed by the members of the Consortium. The MLSC will administer the program. The deadline for 2-page Pre-Proposal applications is May 15, 2014 at noon.

Applicants that are invited to proceed to the next stage will be required to submit a Full Proposal which will be due on July 25, 2014. Consortium Members will then determine which applicants will be finalists who may be invited to present to Consortium Members.

If you have questions about the program after you have reviewed the materials on this website, please contact Beth Nicklas at


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