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ASU secures $3.9 million to study spinal cord injuries and neurological disorders

TEMPE, Ariz. Ranu Jung and James Abbas are on a roll. The ASU researchers recently secured four grants totaling $3.9 million to advance efforts to repair or replace lost function for people with spinal cord injury or other neurological disorders.

Jung and Abbas co-direct the Center for Rehabilitation Neuroscience and the Rehabilitation Engineering at ASU's Biodesign Institute. The Center's focus is on developing and utilizing new scientific knowledge and engineering technology to address the complex physiological, medical and societal problems presented by neurological disability.

In April, Jung was awarded $404,000 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to design, fabricate and test a neural clamp for recording activity from the spinal cord that may someday guide development of "smart" prosthetics. In June, Jung received a $1.3 million NIH grant to purchase a sophisticated imaging system. In July, Abbas received an $870,000 NIH grant to create a system that may allow those with spinal cord injuries to regain greater independent function. Most recently, Jung received a $1.3 million computational neuroscience grant from the NIH in August to gain a comprehensive understanding of spinal cord injuries in the hopes of developing advanced models for rehabilitative treatments.

"Securing the resources to do this research expands our opportunity for greater discovery and design," said Abbas, "We work with many individuals who have spinal cord injuries or neurological diseases. They give us inspiration to do everything possible to translate our research quickly into innovative, tangible applications to improve human health and quality of life."

Jung added, "The days of the doubling of the NIH budget are behind us and research funding is increasingly competitive. We are delighted that, despite these challenges, our center has been on a path of success in getting new NIH funding. One of our primary goals is designing techniques to invest
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Contact: Gretchen Dobosz
gretchen.dobosz@asu.edu
480-727-0788
Arizona State University
27-Sep-2005


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