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Kessler Foundation Research Center Awarded More Than Two Million Dollars in Grants

Kessler Foundation on the Cutting Edge of Research for People with Disabilities

West Orange, NJ (PRWEB) July 8, 2009 -- Kessler Foundation announced that it was awarded seven grants totaling $2,049,100 during the first half of 2009. The grants were awarded by federal and state agencies, major universities and other health organizations to support research that improves quality of life for individuals with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, stroke and other disabling conditions.

"Kessler Foundation Research Center continues to be recognized as a national leader in the area of disability research," stated Rodger DeRose, President and CEO of Kessler Foundation. "Continuing to be awarded grants from these organizations in support of our research is proof of that."

Grants were awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), New Jersey State Commission on Brain Injury Research, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), the University of Pennsylvania, Select Medical Corporation, and CENT (Center for Experimental Neurorehabilitation Training).

"These grants enable us to advance our understanding of how the brain is affected by stroke, brain injury and neurodegenerative diseases like MS and Huntington's disease, while providing young investigators with advanced training in neurocognitive research," noted John DeLuca, PhD, vice president for research at Kessler Foundation Research Center. "Patients with these devastating disorders will benefit from the improvements that will be achieved in neuropsychological rehabilitation."

Grants Awarded

  • NIH/NINDS awarded James Sumowski, PhD, a grant for a multiple sclerosis project to examine how intellectual enhancement can protect the brain from developing impaired cognition, and motor and emotional skills. Dr. Sumowski is a research scientist in the Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Laboratory.
  • NIDRR awarded Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, a training grant to enable post-doctoral fellows to obtain advanced training in neurocognitive rehabilitation research, which will enable them to conduct independent clinical research. Dr. Chiaravalloti is the director of the Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Laboratory.
  • The University of Pennsylvania and CENT provided grant funding to Glenn Wylie, DPhil, for a pilot study to improve visualization of the brain using functional MRI. This study will advance the investigation of spatial neglect, a disabling disorder of visual processing that occurs after stroke. Dr. Wylie is a research scientist in the Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Laboratory.
  • The New Jersey Commission on Brain Injury Research awarded Dr. Wylie a grant to examine changes in functional brain activation in individuals recovering from traumatic brain injury. Understanding of how TBI alters brain function will not only aid in the development of better strategies to rehabilitate people with brain injury, but will contribute to research in MS, Parkinson's disease, stroke and other neurological conditions.
  • NIH/NINDS awarded Dr. Noelle Carlozzi, a grant to study health-related quality of life in patients with Huntington's disease, a devastating neurodegenerative disease manifested by progressive motor, cognitive and psychiatric symptoms. Dr. Carlozzi is an outcomes research scientist in the Outcomes & Assessment Research Laboratory.
  • University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) awarded a grant to support Dr. Carlozzi's pilot study, which will establish a core outcome measure for clinical trials aimed at prolonging healthy living for people with Huntington's disease.
  • Select Medical awarded Cristin McKenna, MD, a grant to study the risk of falls during rehabilitation and long-term care though innovative, targeted cognitive assessment. Minimizing falls and their complications will contribute to optimal physical rehabilitation and recovery. Dr. McKenna conducts research in the Stroke Rehabilitation Research Laboratory.

About Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation is in the forefront of research in the areas of traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, neuropsychology, neuroscience, multiple sclerosis, movement analysis, outcomes research and rehabilitation engineering. Kessler Foundation Research Center, which has 7 specialized laboratories, also has model systems for brain and spinal injury: Northern New Jersey SCI System and Northern New Jersey TBI System, which are funded by major grants from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. While there are 14 model SCI systems and 14 TBI model systems in the U.S., Kessler Foundation is one of only seven centers in the country to have dual model systems. In 2008, Kessler Foundation researchers published more than 60 articles in medical and scientific journals and presented their research findings at national and international meetings.

Kessler Foundation also supports programs that promote the employment of people with disabilities through its Program Center's "Transition to Work" Signature and Community Employment Grants. The Foundation's Special Initiative Grants also support educational programs like 'ThinkFirst', an injury prevention program aimed at children and teens. Kessler Foundation has a full-time staff of 90 individuals, divided between two locations in West Orange, New Jersey.

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