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New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Research Makes $6.5 Million Dollars Available for Spinal Cord Research Grants

TRENTON - The New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Research (NJCSCR) announced today that there is approximately $6.5 million available for its Fiscal Year 2004 grant cycle for awards to New Jersey scientists.

The NJCSCR funds research activities that hold promise of developing effective interventions and cures for paralysis and other consequences of spinal cord injury and disease.

The NJCSCR has developed three new grant-funding mechanisms that will be available in Fiscal Year 2004. These programs will be in addition to the one-and two-year individual research grant awards that are currently offered, and are intended to stimulate spinal cord research in New Jersey by facilitating the (i) recruitment of outstanding senior and junior faculty through five-year named chairs ("New Jersey Commission Professor of Spinal Cord Research"); (ii) establishment of new spinal cord injury research laboratories in New Jersey (through one-time grants for start-up costs); (iii) recruitment and training of talented young individuals who wish to pursue a career in spinal cord research (through postdoctoral and graduate student fellowships).

Applications must be received by December 8, 2003. The New Jersey Spinal Cord Research Fund is collected through a $1 surcharge on motor vehicle or traffic violations in the State of New Jersey. Ninety-eight cents of every dollar is earmarked for the Fund and two cents for the administrating municipality.

The NJCSCR has announced nine awards for Fiscal Year 2003 totaling $1.6 million.

Those eligible to apply for grants include professionals in the field, established investigators new to spinal cord research, postdoctoral fellows, and young investigators. Collaborations, both in- and out-of-state, are strongly encouraged. The NJCSCR is eager to expand its reach to all New Jersey academic, medical, and for profit research entities.

Approximately 6,000 New Jersey residents suffer from traumatic injuries or diseases that damage the spinal cord. It is estimated that 300 new injuries occur each year in the state. Spinal cord research is relevant to many other neurological diseases and disorders including stroke, ALS, Alzheimer's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, Post-Polio Syndrome, Transverse Myelitis, and Traumatic Brain Injury.

The latest information on the accomplishments of the New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord research can be found in the 2003 annual report.

To apply for the research grants, obtain grant applications, deadlines, and for additional information on the New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Research, visit the NJCSCR website at www.state.nj.us/health/spinalcord/. Written inquiries can be directed to: The New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Research, PO Box 360, Trenton, New Jersey 08625. For telephone inquiries, please call 609-292-4055.

The following is a listing of this fiscal year’s research awards:

Monica Driscoll, Ph.D.
Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Identification of Early Acting Genes Critical for Injury-Induced Neuronal Cell Death

Bonnie L. Firestein, Ph.D., M.D.
Cell Biology & Neuroscience
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
The Role of Cypin in Protecting Spinal Cord Neurons from Glutamate - Induced Toxicity

Gail Forrest, Ph.D.
Human Performance and Movement Analysis Laboratory
Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation
Effect of Body Weight Supported Walking in Incomplete SCI: Physiological and Performance Effects

Ronald P. Hart, Ph.D.
W.M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Regeneration - Associated Genes in Descending
Brain Nuclei

Martin Grumet, Ph.D.
W.M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Analysis of Cytotoxic Activity Following Spinal Cord Injury

Sally Meiners, Ph.D.
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Potential Application of Peptide/Nanofiber Technology for Neuronal Regeneration

David L. Shreiber, Ph.D.
Biomedical Engineering
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Optimizing Biomaterial Properties-Spinal Cord Regeneration

Dongming Sun, Ph.D., M.D.
W.M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Mouse Spinal Cord Injury Models

Wise Young, Ph.D., M.D.
W.M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Regeneration of Adult Rat Spinal Cord


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