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Grand Research Challenges for MINDED fellows

The Grand Research Challenges listed below constitute the backbone of the MINDED initiative. Applicants for MINDED fellowships have to develop their research proposal around one or more of these challenges.


  • Delivering RNA and therapeutic molecules to the brain;
  • Modulating vascular permeability via US, permeation enhancers or other strategies;
  • Designing stimulus-sensitive nanomedicines
  • Predicting protein corona on nanomedicines;
  • Modulating/priming the immune system with nanomedicines;
  • Fabricating microfluidic chips for high throughput screening of nanomedicines;
  • Realization of 3D tissue-on-chips for transport analyses;
  • Computational modeling of nanomedicines across multiple scales

Molecular Neuroscience

  • Assessing genetic heterogeneity in autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs);
  • Designing, developing and testing innovative genomic tools for patient classification;
  • Integrating genomic analyses and robotics to improve personalized diagnosis and treatment of NDDs ;
  • Streamlining therapeutic approaches for haploinsufficiencies in NDDs;
  • Developing RNA technologies for NDDs
  • Develop 2D and 3D neural tissues from human IPSCs for assessment of neural network activity

Cognitive Neuroscience Robotics

  • Assessing quantitatively sensorimotor and cognitive deficits in NDDs;
  • Tuning robots to the needs of both typically and atypically developing individuals;
  • Developing portable, non-invasive, low-cost, easy-to-use devices for sensorimotor assessment;
  • Reconfiguring sensorimotor integration through human-robot interaction;
  • Developing a coordinated effort to bring innovative technologies from bench to the bed-side