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For Release:
January 24, 2006

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

For Further Information Contact:
Gretchen Michael

New Jersey Commission Awards $2 Million for Spinal Injury Research


TRENTON – The New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Research (NJCSCR) recently awarded nearly $2 million in grants to New Jersey scientists to investigate medical interventions and potential cures for paralysis and other consequences of spinal cord injury.

Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D., Commissioner, of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, said the grants reflect a commitment to more than 6,000 New Jerseyans who suffer with spinal cord damage. “We recognize their plight, their patience, and the potential for breakthroughs,” said Dr. Jacobs.

The grants include the Commission’s first one-time, start-up grant of $686,463, awarded to New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and Dr. Treena Arinzeh, Ph.D., Principal Investigator and Associate Professor, to research “Neuronal Differentiation of Stem Cells Using Nanomeshes.”

Steven M. Reich, Chairperson of the NJCSCR, said that with steady reports of advances in spinal cord research, the Commission’s support for sound science by highly qualified investigators here in New Jersey is more crucial than ever.

“This year, for the first time, we are supporting the creation of a new facility for spinal cord research with the award to NJIT,” Reich said. “We welcome NJIT to the New Jersey spinal cord research community, and together with our other outstanding research partners, look forward to a deepening and rewarding relationship.”

Four other research grants totaling more than $1.3 million went to:

Mary Driscoll, Ph.D., Principal Investigator and Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Nelson Biological Laboratories

Individual research grant award – $400,000

For “Genes Contributing to Necrotic Death of Injured Neurons”


Martin Grumet, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Professor and Director

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, W.M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience

Individual research grant award – $308,593

For “Isolation of NSC from ES Cells & Applications in SCI”


Troy Shinbrot, Ph.D., Principal Investigator and Associate Professor

Rutgers, the State University, Biomedical Engineering

Individual research grant award  $199,734

For “In Silico/In Vitro Comparisons of Spinal Implant Branching”


Mary Sisto, Ph.D, Principal Investigator

Director, Human Performance and Movement Analysis Laboratory

Kessler Medical Rehabilitation Research and Education Corporation

Individual research grant award – $397,210

For “Shoulder Pain/Injury due to Wheelchair Propulsion in SCI”


The Commission was created in 2000 to stimulate original spinal cord research in New Jersey and recruit new scientists to the field through the funding of research projects and fellowships at qualifying institutions throughout the state. 

NJCSCR opportunities include one-and two-year individual research grants; post-doctoral and graduate fellowships; and five-year chair grants supporting New Jersey Commission Professorships for spinal cord research.  

For further information, visit the NJCSCR website at, phone (609) 292-4055, or write to The New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Research, P.O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625.

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