Million Dollar Grant

Dr. George Vidal
Assistant Professor of Biology

Dr. Michael McConnell
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

Dr. Stephen Turner
Assistant Professor of Public Health
Bioinformatics Core Director

In 2017 and 2018, 4-VA awarded grants to George Vidal and his team to work with UVA on the genetics of neurodevelopmental differences that cause autism and schizophrenia. This support helped them demonstrate their capacity to deliver exceptional research results and led to a $1,053,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health in 2020, the largest research grant the agency has ever given to a single scientist at JMU. Vidal will use the grant to research the function of an autism risk gene in the developing brain.

Thanks to 4-VA support of my scholarship and my JMU undergraduate research team, I was
awarded a Faculty Development Award to Promote Diversity in Neuroscience Research by
the National Institutes of Health. The support really gave my lab the initial boost we needed to
successfully compete for this award!