November 1, 2021

New $2.1M Award to Address Low-Level Blast Effects and Neurodegeneration on U.S. Service Members

The award, funded by the U.S. Army, was accepted on behalf of Geneva-funded researcher V. Sujith Sajja, PhD

BETHESDA, Md. – The Geneva Foundation (Geneva), a 501(c)3 non-profit that provides innovative scientific research and exceptional program management, announces today the award of a $2.1 million dollar cooperative agreement from the U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity to address the deleterious effects of low-level repetitive blast and the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases on U.S. military service members. This award was accepted on behalf of Geneva-funded researcher Venkatasivasai Sujith Sajja, PhD, a principal investigator at the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience Research at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

Low-level repeated blast exposure is a signature of recent military conflicts, leading to increased Department of Defense interest in its potential long-term effects, such as chronic neurodegeneration, behavioral changes, and other deleterious effects. “Despite the attention, the underlying pathophysiology and pathogenesis for long-term neurocognitive decline are unclear,” said Dr. Sajja.

Under cooperative agreement number W81XWH-21-2-0028, Dr. Sajja’s proposal is titled “Comprehensive Assessment of Blast Traumatic Brain Injury in a Gyrencephalic Species: Biomechanical, MRI, Behavioral and Neuropathological Study” which aims to characterize animal models of neurodegeneration that are directly translatable to military training-relevant blast overpressure injuries. This research is a collaborative effort with Rao Gullapalli, PhD, MBA at University of Maryland, Baltimore.

“The knowledge gained in this research will help in understanding the impact exposures in soldiers’ readiness and risk of developing of neurodegenerative diseases,” said Dr. Sajja. “Changes that are observed from MRI, pathology, biomarkers, and behaviors can in help in understanding effects from blast and also directly translating injury outcomes to clinical studies because of outcome modalities used”.

This award marks the third award Geneva has partnered with Dr. Sajja on totaling over $5.6 million in funding since September 2019.


About The Geneva Foundation
The Geneva Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that advances military medicine through innovative scientific research, exceptional program management, and a dedication to U.S. service members and veterans, their families, and the global community. Geneva is proud to have over 25 years of experience in delivering full-spectrum scientific, technical, and program management expertise in the areas of federal grants, federal contracts, industry-sponsored clinical trials, and educational services.


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