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Thread: DUNN FOUNDATION CONTRIBUTES GRANT TO SPINAL CORD INJURY RESEARCH AT UTMB

  1. #1
    Senior Member KIM's Avatar
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    DUNN FOUNDATION CONTRIBUTES GRANT TO SPINAL CORD INJURY RESEARCH AT UTMB

    DUNN FOUNDATION CONTRIBUTES GRANT TO SPINAL CORD INJURY RESEARCH AT UTMB
    Research may yield improved or even complete recovery from spinal cord injury

    GALVESTON, Texas-The John S. Dunn Research Foundation has contributed a grant to the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston to support promising spinal cord injury research that may yield improved or possibly complete recovery for those suffering such injury.

    Dr. Claire E. Hulsebosch, a professor in UTMB's Department of Anatomy and Neurosciences, will use the funding to help advance her studies concerning molecular, drug-based and cellular transplant techniques designed to restore motor function. As project director of UTMB's Spinal Cord Injury Consortium, Hulsebosch is also interested in examining ways to block chronic pain resulting from spinal cord injury.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics indicate that spinal cord injury afflicts more than 190,000 people in the United States, costing $10 billion annually in lost productivity and related health care costs. Spinal cord injury strikes an additional 11,000 people each year. According to the Texas Department of Health, approximately two Texans will sustain such injuries every day.

    Hulsebosch's research examines how to replace spinal cells destroyed by trauma and help facilitate axon growth across an area of dead spinal cells. Axons are the nerve fiber processes that communicate impulses between nerve cells.

    As part of her research, Hulsebosch, who is also an investigator in UTMB's Marine Biomedical Institute, is using cultured stem cells from federally approved cell lines, genetically engineering them, and transplanting them into the spinal cord to improve function after spinal cord injury. She is also learning about the basic molecular principles required to revive nerve cells that would otherwise die and to encourage the sprouting of nerve cells following spinal cord injury.

    "The generous support of the Dunn Foundation will allow us to press forward in our spinal cord research, helping us to unlock secrets that will improve function for people with spinal cord injuries," Hulsebosch said.

    Dedicated to supporting programs and organizations involved in biomedical research and educational endeavors that benefit Texans, the Dunn Foundation has been a longtime benefactor of UTMB. Most recently, the foundation endowed the John S. Dunn Distinguished Chair in Biodefense, which is held by Dr. Robert E. Shope, an internationally recognized virologist and co-director of the World Reference Center for Arboviruses at UTMB.

    Prominent Houston businessman John S. Dunn Sr. created his foundation in 1977. Dunn managed his insurance agency and mortgage banking firm until his death in 1982 and was a founding board member of First State Bank of Bellaire, University State Bank and University Savings Association. He also served on the boards of Hermann Hospital and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Hospital.


    -UTMB-
    http://www.utmb.edu/utmbnews/03pr/april/dunn.htm

  2. #2
    Senior Member Leo's Avatar
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    WCR,

    Hey looks like a good contact for TX Quest.

  3. #3
    This is good news, thanks Kim.

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    Senior Member DA's Avatar
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    UTMB and sci, well im not excited. i visit with a neurosurgen at UTMB 2 weeks ago and i will ask him about this when i see him again in may.
    remind me peep.

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    Senior Member alan's Avatar
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    When will someone decide how many people in the U.S. actually have SCI? Every article one looks at has a different total!

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    Senior Member Max's Avatar
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    I agree, Alan.

    Wise,

    Why its so difficult to calculate exact numbers of sci in USA & Canada?

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    Senior Member DA's Avatar
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    true number is 470,000. by utmb lowering the number to 190,000, they lower any kind of pressure to find a cure. a political tactive.

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    Senior Member Jeff's Avatar
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    An article that finally mentions "complete" recovery. Sheesh, that alone got my attention. I'm not sure how far along they are in their work but I like that attitude.

    ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~

  9. #9
    The numbers are variable because nobody really has a good idea of the number of people with spinal cord injury. The incidence of spinal cord injury (i.e. new cases) is estimated from the diagnoses given in hospital emergency rooms and admissions. However, prevalence (i.e. the number of existing cases) is very hard to estimate. In 1997, Monroe Berkowitz and his colleagues at Rutgers tried to estimate the cost of spinal cord injury by doing a nationwide telephone survey of households the PVA and other organizations knew had spinal cord injury. In that analysis, he estimated the cost per household and then multiplied with a conservative estimate of about 170,000 people with spinal cord injury. I am not sure where this number comes from. In 1990, as editor of the Journal of Neurotrauma, I had encouraged a study of the prevalence that came up with the figure of 250,000 but this was based on assumptions concerning both the incidence, death rate, and longevity of people with spinal cord injury.

    I have been hoping that the U.S. and state governments will come up with additional figures that would give us a better idea of people who are paralyzed. In 2000, a subpopulation of households received a more detailed National Census questionaire that included questions about people who used wheelchairs or had paralysis. Congress also passed a law encouraging states to begin registries of spinal cord injury.

    The definition of spinal cord injury is also a problem. I estimate that probably as many as 50% of people with spinal cord injury did not have trauma. For example, many people become paralyzed as a result of a tumor compressing the spinal cord, a herniated disc, spondylosis, scoliosis, spinal stenosis, radiation therapy that caused paralysis, a hemorrhage or ischemia of the cord, idiopathic transverse myelitis, lupus erythematosus, etc. they may not be counted as having spinal cord injury.

    Wise.

  10. #10
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    I emailed the Dunn Foundation to thank them for the grant and this is the reply.....

    Thanks for your comments, Robert. We appreciate hearing from those who read our press releases. I've forwarded your message to the John S. Dunn Research Foundation. By the way, may I ask where you discovered this article? We like to keep track of such things for our records.

    Thanks again,

    J. Christian Messa
    UTMB Office of University Advancement

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