Announcing the 2015 Innovator Award Grantees

Hydrocephalus Research Update

Lance Lee, PhD, Hydrocephalus Association Innovator Awardee

Lance Lee, PhD, 2015 Hydrocephalus Association Innovator Awardee

By Jenna Koschnitzky, PhD, Director of Research Programs

The Hydrocephalus Association is pleased to announce the funding of seven hydrocephalus researchers through the HA Network for Discovery Science (HANDS) Innovator Award. This international group of grantees come from a range of scientific backgrounds, from cell and developmental biology to chemical engineering.

Bonnie Blazer-Yost, PhD, from Indian University – Purdue University of Indianapolis (IUPUI), will test if a category of drugs can decrease ventricle size and preserve brain structure and function in hydrocephalus.

Marc Del Bigio, MD, PhD, FRCPC, from the University of Manitoba, will test if certain drugs can decrease damage that enlarge ventricles cause to the neural tracts that transmit signal across the brain and spinal cord.

June Goto, PhD, from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, will analyze the link between a genetic mutation and very early onset fetal hydrocephalus.

Lance Lee, PhD, from the Children’s Health Research Center at Sanford Research, will identify genes that increase or decrease the risk of developing hydrocephalus.

Andreas Linninger, PhD, from the University of Illinois at Chicago, will use a novel device to measure and then modulate the flow of water through channels important for cerebrospinal fluid regulation.

James ‘Pat’ McAllister, PhD, from Washington University School of Medicine, will test the use of anti-inflammatory drugs in the prevention of post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus.

Michael Piper, PhD, from the University of Queensland, will analyze the link between reduced expression of a compound in the brain leading to the development of hydrocephalus.

The Innovator Award is designed to provide seed funding for bold and innovative research with the potential to transform hydrocephalus research. In this cycle, the Award focused on research designed to better understand why hydrocephalus develops and the identification and pre-clinical testing of therapies to prevent or reverse all forms of hydrocephalus. Innovator Awards are for one year of support at a $25,000 or $50,000 level. These awards further the Hydrocephalus Association’s mission to promote a cure for hydrocephalus and improve the lives of those affected by the condition.

Funding for the 2015 Innovator Award was made possible through the support of the Grant and Pam Finlayson family and the dedicated efforts of Craig and Vicki Brown, hosts of the 2015 Vision Dinner.

In 2015, the Hydrocephalus Association spent over $950,000 directly on clinical and basic science grants. This brings our total research spending to over $4,270,000 since the start of the research initiative in 2009. In 2016, the Hydrocephalus Association will continue pushing hydrocephalus research forward through the continued support of the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network, the Adult Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network, and by providing more research opportunities through the HA Network for Discovery Science.

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