NINDS Designates the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis A Facility of Research Excellence


$2.6 Million Contract Awarded for Spinal Cord Injury Research

MIAMI, May 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, at the University of Miami School of Medicine, has announced its recent designation as a Facility of Research Excellence in Spinal Cord Injury (FORE-SCI) by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Receiving a $2.6 million award, The Miami Project is one of three sites contracted to carry out NINDS's goals for the FORE-SCI program.

The overall goal of the program is to sponsor training and research facilities for the study of spinal cord injury (SCI). At The Miami Project, the FORE-SCI award specifically supports the instruction of new researchers in the field of SCI with the aim of promoting consistency of procedures and practices across laboratories. Another component of the program is to review and replicate novel treatments for SCI. NINDS further intends that the FORE- SCI sites will become the nuclei for collaborative studies.

"This new funding to support the training of researchers and to replicate promising SCI research is important as we attempt to translate our experimental findings to the clinic," commented Dr. W. Dalton Dietrich, Scientific Director, The Miami Project, who will direct the FORE-SCI contract along with Mary Bartlett Bunge, Ph.D.

To promote the recruitment of outstanding investigators for SCI research and to enhance collaborations between different laboratories, The Miami Project will recruit and train five students and researchers per year over the next five years, ultimately increasing the number of scientists working in the field. Additionally, to validate promising research, The Miami Project will select nine different studies to replicate. NINDS will oversee The Miami Project's work to achieve the FORE-SCI program objectives, meeting periodically with The Miami Project directors to review the progress and modify future plans.

The FORE-SCI contract demonstrates the commitment of NINDS to partner with major SCI research centers for training in the best practices for SCI research as well as obtaining the necessary data and knowledge to initiate clinical trials targeting paralysis.

"We are honored to be designated as a Facility of Research Excellence by NINDS," said Marc Buoniconti, Ambassador of The Miami Project. "This designation and contract will accelerate our race to find a cure for paralysis."

The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis

The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, a Center of Excellence at the University of Miami School of Medicine, is the world's largest, most comprehensive research center dedicated to finding more effective treatments and, ultimately, a cure for paralysis that results from spinal cord injury.

The Miami Project was founded in 1985 through the vision and dedicated efforts of Dr. Barth Green, an internationally recognized expert in the field of spinal cord injury. National attention focused on The Miami Project following the injury of football legend Nick Buoniconti's son, Marc.

The NINDS is a component of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and is the nation's primary supporter of biomedical research on the brain and nervous system.

For more information or to make a contribution to The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, please visit www.themiamiproject.org or call 1 800 STAND UP.

SOURCE Miami Project to Cure Paralysis

CO: Miami Project to Cure Paralysis; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; University of Miami School of Medicine

ST: Florida, Maryland

SU: AWD EXE CON

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05/01/2003 13:54 EDT