The renewed five-year grant to the Center of Excellence on Restoration of Function (CERF) in SCI and MS at the West Haven Veterans Affairs Medical Center will fund biomedical research to benefit people with nerve and spinal cord injuries. CERF uses molecular and cellular technology to study factors that influence nerve signal conduction and to identify strategies that can protect, repair and support the injured nervous system.
"SCI, MS and related disorders represent a major health challenge for our country," said Center Director Waxman, who is professor and chair of the Department of Neurology. "We believe that restoration of normal or near-normal function in these disorders, while not an easy objective is a realistic and achievable one - this is the major objective of our Center. We immensely appreciate the support from the Department of Veterans Affairs, which will enable us to move closer to this objective."
Since its inception in 1999, CERF has made significant progress in the area of rehabilitation research including initiation of the first human clinical study of Schwann cell transplantation in MS and demonstration of nerve repair via intravenous injection of bone marrow-derived adult stem cells. The center has identified potential molecular targets for restoration of coordination and vision in MS and has developed a new therapeutic strategy to preserve neurological function in MS by preventing degeneration of nerve fibers within the spinal cord and brain.
CERF also investigates a combination of molecular and cellular approaches with rehabilitation therapies, and
Contact: Janet Rettig Emanuel