University of Florida McKnight Brain Institute

Partner Since 2017

Toffler Scholar Program

Researchers at the McKnight Brain Institute work to broaden the understanding of neurological disorders and change them from untreatable to treatable, incurable to curable, and inevitable to preventable.

The Toffler Scholar Program provides crucial early-stage funding and network support for their young researchers. Each one is chosen for their innovative thinking, research excellence, and demonstrated passion for their work.

“The creation of the Toffler Scholar Program allows us to recognize the extraordinary accomplishments that our graduate students make in neuroscience research, education and outreach within the scientific community and to the local public. Our Toffler Scholars are pursuing research that has advanced our understanding of therapeutic tools for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, spinal cord injury, and lysosomal storage diseases. Their outreach activities can be seen throughout the community as they speak to children from kindergarten through high school and often continue these efforts by mentoring undergraduates in the laboratory setting. Funding from the Toffler Trust both rewards and enables our outstanding next generation in neuroscience.”

- Jada Lewis, Ph.D.,
Deputy Director of the UF McKnight Brain Institute

Toffler Scholars

Toffler Scholar Research Award

Phillip Mackie

Adithya Gopinath

Binh Nguyen (MD)

Yuxing Xia (MD)

Dr. Hunter Futch (MD, Ph.D.)

Kalene Jasso

Ariel Walker

Toffler Scholar Leadership Awards

Adithya Gopinath

Kathleen Hupfeld

Zachary Sorrention (MD)

Dr. Robert Eisinger (MD, Ph.D.)

Dr. Kelly Demars (Ph.D.)

Dr. Marissa Ciesla (Ph.D.)

Dr. Hunter Futch (MD, Ph.D.)

Dr. Latoya Allen (PhD)

Dr. Sruti Rayaprolu (Ph.D.)

Andrew Moore

Grace Lloyd

Kalene Jasso

Janna Jernigan

Toffler Scholar Spotlights


Dr. Allen

Dr. Allen earned the Toffler Scholar Leadership Award in 2018 while earning her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Florida. Today, Dr. Allen works in toxicology safety assessment in early drug development. Her vital work helps to ensure the safety of new medications, allowing them to move forward to human clinical trials.

Dr. Rayaprolu

Dr. Rayaprolu earned the Toffler Scholar Leadership Award in 2018. After graduating, Dr. Rayaprolu joined a large collaborative center as a Postdoctoral Fellow studying Alzheimer's disease. The goal of the center is to find new biomarkers for the disease so doctors can diagnose people earlier and monitor the disease’s progression more accurately.


Adithya Gopinath

Adithya Gopinath earned the Toffler Scholar award in 2020 at the University of Florida. Currently, he is a graduate research assistant and Ph.D. candidate at the Khoshbouei Lab, in the University of Florida College of Medicine, where he dedicates time researching markers of dopamine signaling in blood-borne immune cells.

See How Our Partnership is Producing Vital Research


20 Toffler Scholar Awards

6 Year Partnership

$270,500 In Funding To-Date

Shape the Future by Funding a Toffler Scholar

If you’d like to support the efforts of early-stage researchers and scientists, please reach out to us. Your involvement can change humanity for the better.