News Release
  
   PO 360
   Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

   For Release:
   July 9, 2001

Christine Grant
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Laura Otterbourg and Marilyn Riley
(609) 984-7160

 

First Round of Spinal Cord Research Grants Totaling $2.3 Million
Awarded by the New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Research


TRENTON - The New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Research (NJCSCR) has awarded 14 grants totaling $2.3 million in its first round of funding to New Jersey researchers studying treatments and possible cures for spinal cord injury and disease, announced Health and Senior Services Commissioner Christine Grant, who also serves on the Commission.

"These injuries take an incalculable toll on individuals, their families and their communities. There are thousands of people right here in New Jersey who also need the ground-breaking research that this funding will support," said acting Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco.

"I believe we're on our way to offering more hope both to future generations and to those New Jerseyans who currently need treatment and cure of spinal cord injury and disease," he added.

A landmark piece of legislation, the Spinal Cord Research Act was initiated by Assemblymen Nicholas Felice (R-40) and Anthony Impreveduto (D-32), and Senators Jack Sinagra (R-18) and Robert Singer (R-30). It was signed into law in September 1999 at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange.

"I am proud that our state is among the nation's leaders in implementing the Spinal Cord Research Act - and that we have forged ahead in our mission to get more funding for research projects in this field," said Commissioner Grant. "The New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Research is committed to speeding up research - by getting funding out to researchers for innovative, ground-breaking research."

According to Joel DeLisa, M.D., M.S., chairman of the NJSCCR, the first round of funding consisted of one- and two-year grant awards, which range from $49,480 to $200,000, and were made based on the recommendations of an independent scientific peer review panel.

"We are pleased to award $2,261,055 in funding for the current fiscal year to promote innovative research and to fill in some of the gaps in research knowledge, thereby advancing scientific ideas and approaches in the field of spinal cord research," Dr. DeLisa said. "With this first round of funding, we have met our targeted goal of getting this funding out there in a little more than one year."

The NJCSCR, which is funded through a $1 surcharge on motor vehicle and traffic violations in the state, was created to solicit and authorize research projects.

The following serve on the Commission: the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services; Joel DeLisa, M.D., M.S., Chairperson; Patricia Morton, Ph.D., Vice Chairperson; Peter Carmel, M.D., representing the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; Susan Howley, representing the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation; John D. Del Colle, Public Member; Carl LaGrotteria, Sr., L.S.W., Public Member; Henry Liss, M.D., Physician Representative; David C. Lowell, Public Member; Barbara Benevento, M.D., Public member; and Cynthia Kirchner, MPH, representing the Department of Health and Senior Services. Cynthia Povich, MA, serves as the Commission's Executive Director.

Approximately 6,000 New Jersey residents suffer from traumatic injuries or diseases that damage the spinal cord. The Department estimates that 300 new injuries occur each year in New Jersey.

Following is a complete list of this fiscal year's research awards:

  • Kessler Medical Rehabilitation Research and Education Corporation, T. Dyson-Hudson, principal investigator, $100,843. Acupuncture in the Treatment of Shoulder Pain in Chronic Spinal Cord Injury.
  • Rutgers University, Newark Campus, B. Komisaruk, principal investigator, $49,480. Using MRI Online as a Biofeedback Signal for CNS Rehabilitation.
  • Rutgers University, Piscataway, H. Li, principal investigator, $148,500. Study of Radial Glia and Potential Application for Nerve Regeneration.
  • University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, J. Pintar, principal investigator, $105,000. IGFBP-5 Regulation of Motor Neuron Cell Death.
  • Kessler Medical Rehabilitation Research and Education Corporation, S. Kirshblum, principal investigator, $71,403. Effect of Oral Fampridine-SR on Pulmonary Function in Subjects with Acute Complete Tetraplegia.
  • Kessler Medical Rehabilitation Research and Education Corporation, T. Linsenmeyer, principal investigator, $197,776. Non-Antibiotic Alternatives for Prevention and Treatment of Urinary Tract Infections.
  • Rutgers University, Piscataway, M. Grumet, principal investigator, $198,000. Nerve Regeneration by Fragments of the Cell Adhesion Molecule L1.
  • Rutgers University, Piscataway, R. Hart, principal investigator, $200,000. Profiling Inflammatory Gene Expression Following Acute Spinal Cord Injury.
  • Rutgers University, Piscataway, D. Sun, principal investigator, $198,000. Study of Activated Macrophage Transplantation into Rat Spinal Cord Contusion Model.
  • Rutgers University, Piscataway, R. Zhou, principal investigator, $200,000. Treating Spinal Cord Injury with Ginsenosides.
  • University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Piscataway, I. Black, principal investigator, $200,000. Transplantation of Adult Bone Marrow Stromal Cell-Derived Neurons to Spinal Cord.
  • University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, S. Elkabes, principal investigator, $200,000. Microglia-Neuron Interactions in Spinal Cord Injury.
  • University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, H. Geller, principal investigator, $200,000. Tenascin-C Domains in Experimental SCI.
  • University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, H. Huang, principal investigator, $192,053. Impaired Spermatogenesis after Spinal Cord Injury.

For additional information on the program, visit the NJCSCR web site at www.state.nj.us/health/spinalcord/

# # #


NJ Home Search NJ NJ Departments NJ Services NJ Directories NJ Legislature NJ Judiciary