Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
Christine Grant |
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First Round of Spinal Cord Research Grants Totaling $2.3 Million
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:
For additional information on the program, visit the NJCSCR web site at www.state.nj.us/health/spinalcord/
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