Navigation Links
NIH EUREKA grant awarded to University of Miami scientist

CORAL GABLES, FL (September 16, 2008)- A team of scientists headed by neuroscientist Dr. Akira Chiba has been awarded the first ever EUREKA grant by the National Institute of Health (NIH), to develop a technique that can lead to a new treatment for spinal cord injury. Dr. Chiba, a professor at the University of Miami's Department of Biology, and his collaborators plan to use a novel and groundbreaking process to enhance synapse formation or nerve regeneration.

Dr. Chiba's project focuses on developing nerve connectivity by applying tension to individual neurons. A collaborative work between Dr. Chiba and scientists at the University of Illinois yielded evidence that a mechanical force applied to nascent nerve synapses, or injured embryonic nerve cells initiates, enhances and repairs their connectivity.

"This FORCE (force orchestrated retrograde synaptic enhancement) mechanism is likely based on a property of cells conserved through evolution and, thus, has the potential to be applied widely, including in the field of regenerative medicine," said Chiba. "A Holy Grail of regenerative neuromedicine is spinal cord repair," he said. "It would be rash to predict that our project will solve the problem, but perhaps we can make a significant contribution to the solution."

The project is a multi-disciplinary effort that combines genetics, bioengineering, computational bioinformatics and nanotechnology. If successful, the research will introduce a new concept in the regeneration of central nervous system neurons after injury.

Dr. Chiba's study is one of 38 research projects that will be funded by the $42.2 million grant. Each will receive direct costs of approximately $200,000 per year for up to four years, in support of projects that could have an extraordinary influence on many areas of science.

"The EUREKA Program is a new effort from the National Institutes of Health specifically for exceptionally innovative projects that could have a major impact on biomedical research," said Edmund M. Talley, Ph.D., program director for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes. "In the case of Dr.Chiba's team, if they are able to prove the importance of mechanical force in re-growing connections between neurons, and if they are able to determine the molecular events underlying this phenomenon, it could change our understanding of how brain injuries might be repaired," he said.

"Even though it would be just one piece in a giant puzzle, it could be key to developing therapies that would enhance the lives of millions of people worldwide."


Contact: Marie Guma-Diaz
University of Miami

Related biology news :

1. NYU Cancer Institute researcher among first NIH EUREKA award recipients
2. NIH EUREKA award funds research at WPI aimed at turning adult skin cells into stem-like cells
3. C. Erec Stebbins awarded prestigious EUREKA grant
4. Burnham researcher awarded $8 million grant
5. NSF awards two grants to Stevens for nano/micro device fabrication and nano sensor development
6. UT Knoxville wins 2 $3M National Science Foundation research and education grants
7. NYU receives $490k NSF grant to promote women in the sciences
8. Iowa State wins $18.5M grant to create NSF Center for Biorenewable Chemicals
9. Cornell gets $10 million NSF grant to establish new sustainability institute
10. NYU, American Museum of Natural History receive $1.6 million NSF grant
11. Broad Institute awarded grant to develop chemical probes for human biology and disease
Post Your Comments:
(Date:8/15/2017)... HAMPTON, Va. , Aug. 15 2017   ivWatch LLC ... effectiveness of intravenous (IV) therapy, today announced receipt of its ISO ... (QMS) developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO®). ... ivWatch Model 400 Continuous Monitoring device for ... "This ...
(Date:5/23/2017)...  Hunova, the first robotic gym for the rehabilitation and functional motor ... Genoa, Italy . The first 30 robots will be ... USA . The technology was developed and patented at the ... spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to a 10 million euro investment from entrepreneur ... ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... ALBANY, New York , April 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... highly competitive, as its vendor landscape is marked by ... in the market is however held by five major ... and Safran. Together these companies accounted for nearly 61% ... majority of the leading companies in the global military ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... 10, 2017 SomaGenics announced the receipt of ... develop RealSeq®-SC (Single Cell), expected to be the first ... (including microRNAs) from single cells using NGS methods. The ... to accelerate development of approaches to analyze the heterogeneity ... "New techniques for measuring levels of mRNAs in individual ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings announced today ... which its ProCell stem cell therapy prevents limb ... The Company, demonstrated that treatment with ProCell resulted ... saved as compared to standard bone marrow stem ... resulted in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... of medical marijuana products targeting the needs of consumers who are incorporating medical ... takes place in Phoenix, Arizona. , As operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... genomic technologies, launched its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, featuring the first ... accompanying cloud-based bioinformatics software to perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution using their own ...
Breaking Biology Technology: