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Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Awards Nearly $2 Million in Individual Research Grants

Foundation Continues Research Initiatives in Search of a Cure and Therapies

for Paralysis

SHORT HILLS, N.J., Jan. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation (CDRF), which is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy, today announced it has awarded $1,996,745 million to 16 laboratories through its Individual Research Grants Program. At the forefront of molecular and cellular studies, CDRF's Individual Research Grant Program is the Foundation's largest, most comprehensive research initiative. The grants awarded today represent an overall $77 million commitment to research by the Foundation since 1982.

"The Individual Grants Research Program plays an integral role in allowing scientists to gather the preliminary data necessary to secure larger, more long-term support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other funding agencies," said Susan Howley, Director of Research and Executive Vice President of CDRF. "Supporting this kind of basic research is the key to the development of therapies for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury and a host of other central nervous system disorders."

Each of the CDRF grant recipients will use the money to fund research that supports investigator-initiated research on a variety of fronts, including axon growth and guidance, remyelination, cellular replacement, rehabilitation and neuroprotection.

"From brain-controlled prosthetics and stem cell manipulation to the use of non-spinal cord injury drugs to regenerate nerve fibers, this year, the grants represent a diverse portfolio, including many rehabilitation grants which prove that translation research is moving forward," said Moses Chao, Ph.D., Professor of Cell Biology and Neuroscience at NYU School of Medicine and Chairman of CDRF's Science Advisory Council. "It's an exciting time to be in spinal cord injury research."

A few of this year's grant recipients include:

* Fanie Barnabe-Heider, Ph.D., at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm,

Sweden -- Dr. Barnabe-Heider is researching the manipulation of

endogenous stem cells within the injured spinal cord in an attempt to

further direct the cells to develop into the cells that are critically

needed after an injury has occurred. Through the results yielded from

this project, Dr. Barnabe-Heider hopes to uncover valuable insight into

the development of new therapies for the treatment of spinal cord


* Yih-Kuen Jan, Ph.D., at the University of Pittsburgh -- Dr. Jan is

examining the application of local skin cooling as a method to prevent

tissue damage caused by pressure ulcers -- formed by the pressure on

skin that is constantly bearing force from lack of movement causing

insufficient blood supply to the skin and muscles. The local cooling

protocol developed in this study has a great potential to improve

current technology and could facilitate the development of commercial

cushions with cooling capacity for the prevention of pressure ulcers for

people in the paralysis community.

Each research application submitted to CDRF 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 CDRF's research priorities, and promise for clinical application.

CDRF's Individual Research Grants are awarded twice yearly with application deadlines in June and December. For a complete list of grantees or more information on CDRF's research programs and the research projects that are funded, visit:

About CDRF

The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research, and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. For more information, please visit our website at or call 800-225-0292.

SOURCE The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
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