PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
July 8, 2013

Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

Christie Administration Awards $3.8 Million in Grants for Traumatic Brain Injury Research

New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary O'Dowd announced today more than $3.8 million in grants for research to develop treatments and cures for disabilities associated with traumatic brain injury. These grant awards are approved by the New Jersey Commission on Brain Injury Research.

"New Jersey has some of the finest medical institutions and research facilities the nation has to offer," said Commissioner O'Dowd. "With this funding, the Department of Health is working to stimulate advancement in care that will improve the quality of life for people with brain injuries."

In New Jersey, approximately 175,000 New Jersey residents suffer from traumatic injuries that damage the brain, and 12,000 new injuries occur each year that require inpatient or outpatient treatment.

The economic consequences of physical disabilities due to traumatic brain injury, including medical and long-term care costs, are estimated at $48 billion annually in the United States.

Since the Commission was created in 2004, more than $21 million has been awarded in New Jersey to research and develop effective treatment and cures for the disabilities associated with traumatic brain injury. In 2013, thirty-eight applicants requested funding totaling more than $15.4 million.

A wide range of grant opportunities are offered including: Individual Research Grants; Post-doctoral and Graduate Fellowships; Pilot Research Grants and Programmatic Multi-Investigator Research Grants.

The 2012 New Jersey Commission on Brain Injury Annual Report is available at: http://www.state.nj.us/health/njcbir/documents/2012_annual_report.pdf

Complete information on the grant recipient projects and funding is available at: http://nj.gov/health/njcbir/documents/2013_brain_injury_grants.pdf

 The following is a complete list of all Fiscal Year 2013 recipients:

Steven Levison, Ph.D.
UMDNJ - NJ Medical School
Grant Award: $537,500
Project Title: Improving Cell Replacement After Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Loren W. Runnels, Ph.D.
MDNJ - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Department of Pharmacology
Grant Award: $533,240
Project Title: Role of TRPM7 in Traumatic Brain Injury

William Craelius, Ph.D.
Rutgers, The State University of NJ
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Grant Award: $539,000
Project Title: Continuous Monitoring of Hemodynamic Autoregulatory Factors after Traumatic Brain Injury

Frances Calderon, Ph.D.
UMDNJ - NJ Medical School
Department of Neurology & Neuroscience
Grant Award: $539,733

Project Title: Enhancement of Neural Stem Cell Survival and Transplantation Efficacy by Docosahexaenoic Acid and its Derivative NPD1 in Traumatic Brain Injury

SmitaThakker-Varia, Ph.D.
UMDNJ - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Department of Biomedical Sciences
Grant Award: $360,000
Project Title: Eprhin Signaling in Axon Regeneration for the Treatment of TBI

Jean Lengenfelder, Ph.D.
Kessler Foundation
Grant Award: $397,941
Project Title: Neural Substrates of Facial Emotion Processing in Individuals with TBI

Jennifer Buckman, Ph.D.
Rutgers, The State University of NJ
Center of Alcohol Studies
Grant Award: $534,755
Project Title: Developing a Comprehensive Clinical Profile of TBI in Concussed Athletes Using Advanced Statistical Approaches

Myka Ababon
UMDNJ - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Department of Neuroscience & Cell Biology
Grant Award: $100,500
Project Title: Retinoic Acid Signaling, the Orphan GPCR, Gpr161, and Adult Brain Stem Cells

Kate Fitzgerald
Rutgers, The State University of NJ
Department of Cell Biology & Neuroscience
Grant Award: $100,500
Project Title: The Neuroprotective Effects of BDNF after TBI

Victoria Leavitt, Ph.D.
Kessler Foundation
Grant Award: $170,296
Project Title: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Aerobic Exercise to Improve Memory in TBI

To apply for future research grants, access grant applications, find out application deadlines, and to obtain additional information on the New Jersey Commission on Brain Injury Research, visit the website at http://www.nj.gov/health/njcbir. For telephone inquiries, please call 609-633-6465.