Monday, May 17, 2004

Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation Awards $2.026 Million in Research Grants

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. - The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation (CRPF) announced today the results of its first research funding cycle for 2004. A total of $2,026,780 was awarded to 15 scientists for research on spinal cord injury paralysis.

"This is an extremely exciting time in spinal cord research and that fact is reflected in the broad scope of these 15 new grants and the cutting-edge tools and technologies the grantees are applying to the challenges of spinal cord repair," said Susan P. Howley, director of research and executive vice president of CRPF. "The number of applications to the Foundation received from researchers all over the globe has surged over the last 18 months, and we believe CRPF is supporting some of the most promising research that will lead to treatments and cures for spinal cord injury."

Every research application submitted to CRPF is reviewed by the Foundation's Science Advisory Council, a panel of accomplished neuroscientists who volunteer their time and expertise to evaluate proposals based on scientific merit, relevance to CRPF's research priorities, and promise for clinical application. This rigorous process ensures that CRPF funds only the most meritorious science that is targeted at developing effective therapies for paralysis and dysfunctions caused by spinal cord injury and other central nervous system disorders.

Of the $2.026 million awarded, $708,402 will support projects investigating the promotion of axon growth and remyelination and $420,000 will fund rehabilitation projects examining the link between training, ameliorative changes in the damaged cord, and improved function. Thirteen percent of the total funding, or $267,033, will be directed towards stem cell research. Investigators exploring the growth inhibition of nerve cells were granted $74,250 and others looking at issues of concomitant function (for example, pain, and bowel, bladder and sexual function) were awarded grants totaling $257,095. $150,000 will support studies exploring how to direct re-growing axons to reach their proper targets and then initiate communications with target cells (axon guidance, synapse formation and neurotransmission), and $150,000 is earmarked for neuroprotection (protecting spinal neurons and their supporting cast of cells in the wake of spinal cord injury). For more details on these categories of research, visit http://www.christopherreeve.org/