CPIRF is pleased to report a $200,000 grant from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and a $50,000 grant from the F. M. Kirby Foundation were recently received.
The William Randolph Hearst Foundation grant will be used to complete four CPIRF research projects:
Emily Wing Yun Tam, M.D.C.M.
University of California San Francisco – $75,000 – Third (final) year
“Neurodevelopmental Effects of Cerebellar Morphometric Changes Associated with Cortical Injury in Preterm Neonates”
Dr. Tam has been using advanced neuroimaging techniques to develop better assessment tools for the early recognition of cerebral palsy to allow patients to benefit from interventions during a critical time of neurodevelopment. Dr. Tam’s efforts of the past year have resulted in the collection of important research data, published articles in the Journal of Pediatrics, presentations at several professional medical societies, and mentoring opportunities for new researchers, and advanced clinical practice and research training.
Dr. Ahamed Hossain
Hugo W. Moser Research Institute at Kennedy Krieger, Baltimore, MD – $50,000 – Second (final) year
“A Molecular Target of Hypoxic-Ischemic Injury in Developing Brain and Cerebral Palsy”
Dr. Hossain has been studying neuronal pentraxin 1 (NP1), a novel neuronal protein and a member of a newly recognized subfamily of “long pentraxins” to determine the role and function of this protein in the molecular cascade of neuronal death in neonatal brain injury triggered by a hypoxia-ischemic (HI) event, an important risk factor for the development of cerebral palsy. His previous work has shown that NP1 is induced in neonatal HI and that anti-sense oligonucleotides directed at NP1 and mRNA prevent neuronal loss. Progress has been made towards the long term goal of developing a molecular target (NP1) that will prevent hypoxic-ischemic brain injury in infants through development of a biological phenotype NP1 in mice possibly leading to a mechanism for prevention of neuronal injury/death.
Dr. Deborah Hamby
Robotic Rehabilitation Center at Riley Hospital, Indianapolis, IN – $25,000 – Second (final) year
“Robotic-Mediated Task-Specific Training in Cerebral Palsy: Block versus Random Presentation”
This project has been studying the effectiveness of robots developed by Dr. Igo Krebs of MIT for both the shoulder and wrist of children with moderate to severe hemiplegic cerebral palsy in improving hand, shoulder and wrist function. In addition, it is trying is determine if the random presentation of targets in the accompanying video portion of the robotic therapy leads to better transfer and retention of motor skills than an ordered presentation of targets in children with cerebral palsy. Initial results are very positive, showing significant improvement in the patient’s ability to direct his or her movement. Data and results are being shared with other rehabilitation centers in NY and California which may expand to other rehabilitation centers across the country.
Dr. Citlali Lopez-Ortiz, PhD, MA
Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL – $50,000 – Second (final) year
“Dance for Motor Learning in Children with Cerebral Palsy”
This project, is studying the effectiveness of using canonical movements of ballet, with accompanying music to improve movement and potential control in children between the ages of 10-12 with hemiplegic or diplegic cerebral palsy. Specific aims are to (1) determine a reduced set of principal components from a repertoire of canonical body postures, (2) test the feasibility of training of children with spastic diplegic and hemiplegic cerebral palsy by matching the canonical postures (classical ballet) using low dimensional virtual reality feedback and (3) test for changes on smoothness of movement after training a dance movement that involves coordinated motions of the upper and lower limbs with reduced VR feedback in children with spastic diplegic and hemiplegic CP.
The F. M. Kirby Foundation grant will provide funding for both research and operational programs:
Principal Investigator: Dr. Robin L. Haynes, PHD
Children’s Hospital Corporation, Boston, MA – $25,000
“Cellular Regeneration in Periventricular Leukomalacia”
This study is addressing very important questions of if and how stem/progenitor cells participate in the repair and regeneration in the premature neonatal human brain. Using the large tissue bank available at Children’s Hospital in Boston, Dr. Haynes is expanding earlier studies done to identify the role subventricular zone cells play in regeneration of neurons and oligodendrocytes killed in the process of hypoxic-ischemic injury, the mechanism of many cases of cerebral palsy.
Operational Support – $25,000
To broaden CPIRF’s public awareness and development capacities through website and social media channels.
In noting the longstanding relationship CPIRF has had with both of the foundations, CEO Glenn R. Tringali stated, “The William Randolph Hearst Foundation and the F. M. Kirby Foundation have been invaluable partners in advancing our research mission for many years. We are honored the Boards of Directors of these two prominent foundations have again chosen to so generously invest in these important research programs and initiatives.”