Governor Cuomo Announces $5.7 Million in State Awards to Research Institutions to Treat and Cure Spinal Cord Injuries.

August 3, 2015

From the office Governor Cuomo

Over 1,000 New Yorkers Suffer Traumatic Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal Cord Injury Research Strengthened Through Department of Health Grants

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $5.7 million in awards to nine research teams at institutions across the state for the development of treatments and cures for various forms and effects of spinal cord injuries. Each year, approximately 1,000 New York residents suffer traumatic spinal cord injuries, joining the nearly 276,000 people living in the United States with paralysis. This funding will help researchers build on the scientific advancements already made by the State’s research community. Since 2001, at least 22 spinal cord injury-related patent applications have been filed by New York State researchers

“New York is a leader in medical research and with this investment, we are providing our skilled medical personnel with the resources necessary to further advance cutting-edge research on spinal cord injuries,” Governor Cuomo said. “This funding will bolster New York’s growing medical economy and maintain our long tradition of developing the next generation of life-saving treatment.”

This funding, administered by New York State Spinal Cord Injury Research program (SCIRB), is the first round of competitive awards since funding was re-instated for the program in 2013. Since its inception, the Spinal Cord Injury Research Board has recommended more than $71 million in research awards to some of New York State's finest research teams.

“New York is home to some of the brightest researchers in spinal cord injury and with this funding, we’re accelerating the pace of their work,” said New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. “We are proud to have the largest dedicated spinal cord injury research funding program in the nation. It enables us to continue fighting to reduce the personal and economic tolls that these injuries inflict.”

This round of funding includes two- and three-year awards made for Collaborations to Accelerate Research Translation (CART) and Innovative, Developmental and Exploratory Activities (IDEA) in Spinal Cord Injury Research. CART awards support and advance current research, while IDEA awards help get new research started. All recipients are researching advancements in either rehabilitation or cellular regeneration and therapeutics.

Award recipients are:


Total Award


Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University (New York City)


Harnessing Microtubules to Enhance Urological Function after Spinal Cord Injury

Winifred Masterson Burke Medical Research Institute (White Plains)


Alterations in Extracellular Vesicle Communication as a Cause of NMJ Dysfunction after SCI

Winifred Masterson Burke Medical Research Institute (White Plains)


Delayed Versus Immediate Motor Training Following Brain Stimulation to Enhance Recovery in Rats with Chronic Corticospinal Tract Injury

CUNY City College of New York (New York City)


Repairing the Damaged Corticospinal Tract after Cervical Spinal Cord Injury

Health Research Inc., Wadsworth Center (Rensselaer/Albany)


Role of Abnormal Urethral Sphincter Motoneuron Properties in Urinary Tract Dysfunction after Spinal Cord Injury

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (New York City)


The Role of HDAC3 in the Epigenetic Regulation of Functional Polarization of Microglia and Macrophages after Spinal Cord Injury

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (New York City)


Augmenting Hand Muscle Control in Cervical SCI through Paired Cortical and Cervical Stimulation

Regenerative Research Foundation (Rensselaer)


Sustained Delivery of IL10 and SHH to Promote Spinal Cord Regeneration After Injury

SUNY Downstate Medical Center (New York City)


24/7 Use of a Fully Integrated Bi-Directional Autonomous Brain Machine Interface in Non-Human-Primates

Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) contribute to significant disability, illness and death in the United States. The personal and economic costs to these individuals, their families and society are immense. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center reports that first-year costs for an individual with SCI range from approximately $342,112 to more than $1,048,259, with annual costs thereafter ranging from approximately $41,554 to $182,033.

Most frequently, these injuries are caused by motor vehicle accidents, falls, sports injuries, or acts of violence. SCI results in an abrupt change in the quality of life for those affected. Injuries to the spine near the head can result in quadriplegia, with the loss of motor control, sensation and function of the arms, legs, bowel, bladder, chest, abdomen and diaphragm. Injuries to the lower spine can result in loss of sensation and movement in the lower body, and loss of bowel and bladder control. Both types of injuries can result in significant chronic pain.

For more information about the New York State Spinal Cord Injury Research program, visit

About the State University of New York
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