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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
August 03, 2006

Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.
Commissioner

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


 
New Jersey Commission Awards $1.4 Million for Spinal Cord Research


 

TRENTON – The New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Research recently awarded $1.4 million in grants to New Jersey scientists to investigate medical interventions and potential cures for paralysis and other consequences of spinal cord disease and injury.

This brings to $3.4 million the total amount of grant money awarded by the Commission in the state’s 2006 fiscal year.

          “Through its continued support of advanced biomedical research, New Jersey remains a leader in the search for a cure for spinal cord injuries as well as treatments that can improve the quality of life for all our citizens,” said Commission Chairperson John Del Colle.

The Commission was created in 2000 in, but not of, the Department of Health and Senior Services.  The Commission works to stimulate original spinal cord research in New Jersey and recruit new scientists to the field by funding research projects and fellowships at qualifying institutions throughout the state.  Since 2000, the Commission has awarded more than $19 million to expand New Jersey’s spinal cord research efforts.

In January, the Commission announced $2 million in grants to support five projects.  In the second round of funding, 12 grants totaling $1.4 million were given to spinal cord researchers at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and New Jersey Medical School; and Princeton University.  This included 10 graduate and post-doctoral fellowships and two individual research grants.

Grants are awarded twice a year through a rigorous process of review that ensures impartiality and strict adherence to conflict-of-interest standards.  All applications are evaluated for relevance and reviewed by an independent panel of experts for scientific merit.  Applications are ranked and scored, and recommendations for funding forwarded to the Commission.  The Commission considers the recommendations of the panel, but retains ultimate authority for approving or denying all applications.

The following received research grants:

Sally Meiners, Ph.D., principal investigator
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert
Wood Johnson Medical School
Individual research grant award -- $315,462
Proposal: Engineering Nanofibrillar Surfaces For Spinal Cord Repair

 

Haesun A. Kim, Ph.D., principal investigator
Rutgers, The State University,
Individual research grant award -- $397,066
Proposal:  Functional Analysis Of erbB2 Signaling During Myelination

Jian Chen, Ph.D., principal investigator
Rutgers, The State University, W.M. Keck Ctr for Collaborative Neuroscience
Fellowship grant award -- $100,000
Proposal:  Adeno-Associated Virus-Mediated Expression Of Cell Adhesion Molecule L1 Improves Axonal Regrowth And Functional Recovery After Compression Spinal Cord Injury In Adult Mice

 

Jianzhong Han, Ph.D., principal investigator
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert
Wood Johnson Medical School
Fellowship grant award -- $100,000
Proposal:  Signal Transduction In Myelin Inhibition Of Axonal Growth

 

Nripen Sharma, principal investigator
Rutgers, The State University, Biomedical Engineering
Fellowship grant award -- $60,000
Proposal:  Metabolic Engineering Of Oligodendrocyte Differentiation

 

Kelly C. Krantz, principal investigator
Princeton University
, Molecular Biology
Fellowship g
rant award -- $60,000
Proposal:  Investigating The Mechanism Of Clathrin Uncoating, A Key Step In Synaptic Transmission

 

Hsiao-Wen Lin, principal investigator
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, NJ Medical School
Fellowship grant award -- $60,000
Proposal:  Anti-Inflammatory Effects of CNTF on Microglia

 

Lulu Li, principal investigator
Rutgers, The State University, Biomedical Engineering
Fellowship grant award -- $60,000
Proposal:  Electric Stimulation of Neural Differentiation from Embryonic Stem Cells

 

Jorge L. Davila, principal investigator
Rutgers, The State University, W.M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience
Fellowship grant award -- $60,000
Proposal:  miRNA Targets Regulating Stem Cell Differentiation

 

Zhaoxia Qu, principal investigator
Rutgers, The State University, W.M.
Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience
Fellowship grant award -- $60,000
Proposal:  Mechanism of Erthropoietin Effects on Neural Stem Cells

 

Saumya Pant, principal investigator
Rutgers, The State University, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Fellowship grant award -- $60,000
Proposal:  Rab-10 and its Effectors in Gluamate Receptor Recycling

 

Wenying Zhang, M.D., M.S., principal investigator
Rutgers, The State University, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Fellowship grant award -- $60,000
Proposal:  Identifying And Charactering Novel Genes That Protect Against Neuronal Necrosis In Vivo

For more information on the Commission and its research grant program, please visit the department’s website at www.state.nj.us/health/spinalcord, or write to: The New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Research, PO Box 360, Trenton, New Jersey 08625.  NJCSCR also may be reached at 609-292-4055.

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