Announcing Our 2013 Scientific and Medical Review Committee

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The Hydrocephalus Association is excited to announce the formation of our 2013 Scientific and Medical Review Committee (SMRC) for our current grant opportunity in partnership with the Rudi Schulte Research Institute. We are honored to have distinguished and experienced hydrocephalus researchers on the Committee, which will review and rank the grant applications.

The Chairman of the Committee is Donna Ferriero, M.D., a Pediatric Neurologist from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Benioff Children’s Hospital.  Dr. Ferriero is Professor in Neurology and Pediatrics at UCSF.  She is also the Director of the Neonatal Brain Disorder Center at UCSF, and a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Advisory Council since 2010.

The Committee reviewers include a number of highly talented and accomplished hydrocephalus researchers.

William G. Bradley, Jr M.D., Ph.D., FACR, is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Radiology at University of California, San Diego. Dr. Bradley is past president of the ISMRM. He served on the Board of Trustees of the RSNA Research and Education Foundation (1995–2001) and as the Chairman of the Fund Development Committee of that organization from 1996 to 2008. He was honored with the Gold Medal of the RSNA in 2003 and that of the ACR in 2012. Dr. Bradly is currently on the Boards of the International Society for Strategic Studies in Radiology, the Association of University Radiologists, the Academy of Radiology Research and the Academy of Radiology Leadership and Management.

David Frim, M.D., Ph.D. is Professor and Chief of Neurosurgery at the University of Chicago, and has clinical interests in hydrocephalus and congenital anomalies of the nervous system, epilepsy, functional and stereotactic neurosurgery.  His research interests include hydrocephalus, chiari, cerebrospinal fluid dynamics, ICP, cognitive outcomes in neurosurgery, and neural substrates of injury and protection.  Dr. Frim’s current investigations include studies of the neuroprotective effects of surfactant poloxamer molecules, investigations of the cognitive outcomes in hydrocephalus and Chiari patients, and development of treatment strategies for congenital complex anomalies of the nervous system.

John Kestle, M.D. is Professor of Neurosurgery and Chief of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the University of Utah and Primary Children’s Medical Center.  His clinical practice specializes exclusively in pediatric neurosurgery with a specific interest in pediatric epilepsy surgery.  Dr. Kestle’s research is in clinical trials. He developed and chairs the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (HCRN).  He is also a director of the American Board of Pediatric Neurosurgery and was Chair of the Scientific Committee of the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery 2009-2012. On March 25, 2013, he will become Head at the Department of Surgery University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Miles Johnston, B.Sc., Ph.D. received his Bachelor of Science degree in physiology/pharmacology and his PhD in the Division of Experimental Pathology and Department of Pathology at the University of Toronto. He subsequently completed his Doctoral Training at the A.R.C Institute of Animal Physiology in Cambridge, England. Dr. Johnston has been the Senior Scientist of Clinical Integrative Biology at the Sunnybrook Research Institute and Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto. His research investigated CSF transport and testing the hypothesis that discontinuity between CSF compartment and extracranial lymphatic vessels leads to hydrocephalus.

Jill Morris, Ph.D. is currently Program Director at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).  Her grant portfolio consists of multiple neurological disorders including hydrocephalus, cerebellar malformations, tuberous sclerosis, neurofibromatosis, and leukodystrophies.    Prior to her arrival, Dr. Morris amassed an extensive history of genetic and neurobiology research.  From 2003 to 2011, she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and Children’s Memorial Research Center where her laboratory investigated the molecular basis of psychiatric disorders. Prior to her position at Northwestern University, she was a Senior Research Biologist in the Department of Neuroscience at Merck Research Laboratories.

Jan-Marino (Nino) Ramirez, Ph.D. is Professor of Neurological Surgery and Director of the Center for Integrative Brain Research at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Dr. Ramirez has a general research interest in the neural control of rhythmic activity. His specialty is neural mechanisms involved in the generation of respiratory rhythms, neocortical activity, and epilepsy. He is also interested in the neuronal mechanisms underlying erratic breathing in Rett syndrome, familial dysautonomia, congenital hypoventilation syndrome, traumatic brain injury, and pediatric epilepsy, as well as burst firing in dopaminergic neurons, possibly linked to ADHD. Dr. Ramirez’s current work is focused on hypoxic effects on mammalian respiratory neural networks. His work is supported by multiple National Institutes of Health (NIH) awards.

HA’s 2013 grant opportunity seeks innovative research projects which will advance the understanding of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) dynamics in the causes and treatments of hydrocephalus. This grant will support 1 to 3 U.S.-based research projects of 1 to 3 years duration with a total pool of $200,000 annually. Letters of intent were submitted in early January and full applications must be completed by March 1, 2013. The grant recipient(s) will be announced this spring. Funding is expected to begin in late 2013.

The Hydrocephalus Association is pleased to be partnering with the Rudi Schulte Research Institute in establishing this grant. Rudi Schulte was one of the two founders of a shunt manufacturing company called PS Medical, later acquired by Medtronic. Through his ground-breaking work, the hydrocephalus shunt was developed, the leading treatment for hydrocephalus. Later, in order to further advance research in the treatment of hydrocephalus, Mr. Schulte generously created and endowed The Rudi Schulte Research Institute. Today, RSRI conducts studies to improve treatments for hydrocephalus and other neurological disorders. The Hydrocephalus Association is proud to be working with RSRI to help further this important work.



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