There is a lot we do not know about how hydrocephalus develops and how to best treat the condition across our many communities. Our 2019 Innovator Award recipients are looking to change that by exploring new ideas about why hydrocephalus develops and testing new treatments to improve long term outcomes.
Dr. Engin Deniz, Assistant Professor in the Division of Critical Care Medicine at Yale University, will determine how cilia, small hair like structures that move cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), contribute to post-traumatic hydrocephalus. This study will use an innovative tadpole model that allows the entire CSF system to be imaged in a living animal.
Dr. Joel Geerling, Assistant Professor at the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa, will focus on linking changes in the brain with symptoms experienced by those with Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH). The goal is to better understand the neural networks affected by NPH in order to develop symptom-specific treatments.
Dr. Bernadette Holdener, Associate Professor in the department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology at Stony Brook University, will work on understanding how changes in the way the brain produces and uses energy are related to the development of hydrocephalus in both children and adults.
Dr. Brandon A. Miller, Assistant Professor in the division of Neurosurgery at the University of Kentucky, will conduct preclinical tests of an antioxidant drug therapy that could reduce nerve injury caused by a brain bleed. The drug is already FDA approved for other uses and could improve brain function for premature babies who are at risk of developing posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus.
These scientists are expanding our knowledge about the causes of hydrocephalus and working to develop new treatments that could impact our entire community, from infants with posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus to older adults with NPH.
The Innovator Award is designed to provide seed funding for bold and innovative research with the potential to transform hydrocephalus research. Emphasis is placed on innovation and potential impact of the project on hydrocephalus research and clinical outcomes. Innovator Awards are for one year of support at a $25,000 or $50,000 level. These awards further the Hydrocephalus Association mission to promote a cure for hydrocephalus and improve the lives of those affected by the condition.
Funding for the 2019 Innovator Awards was made possible through the support of the Posthemorrhagic Hydrocephalus Campaign and individual donations.