Harald Sontheimer, PhD, the Harrison Distinguished Teaching Professor of Neuroscience, who joined UVA in 2021 as chair of the Department of Neuroscience, is leading UVA to the forefront of neuroscience discoveries and new treatments. His groundbreaking discoveries on the role of astrocytes in Alzheimer’s pathology are bringing significant new understanding of the disease that may lead to novel treatments and therapies.
Pulse magazine recently had a chance to talk with Dr. Sontheimer about his breakthrough, transformational research at UVA and how private philanthropy has tremendously impacted the ability for him and other School of Medicine neuroscience researchers to pursue truly innovative work.
“You typically can’t get federal money to fund high-risk, high-reward projects. It’s too big a gamble for the federal funders in the early stages of research. However, in many cases, we receive funding from a donor, and a year or two later, we receive an NIH grant. So seed funding from a donor could turn a $150,000 investment in research into a $3 million line of research that is genuinely groundbreaking.” —Harald Sontheimer, PhD
Read more about Dr. Sontheimer’s research of neurodegenerative diseases and his personal statement on how philanthropy mobilizes the next generation of scientists.