By Gavin Reed, HA Research Associate
HA is pleased to announce two recipients of the Hydrocephalus Association’s grant program focusing on CSF Production, Flow, and Regulation. The long term goal of these grants is to create therapeutic interventions such as a pill that could control intracranial pressure. The grantees are:
Pat McAllister, Ph.D., Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of Basic Hydrocephalus Research at the University of Utah, will investigate abnormal development along the ventricular walls in the brain which causes blockage of normal cerebrospinal fluid flow. His team hopes to use this information to develop novel approaches to protect or repair a hydrocephalic brain.
Miles Johnston, Ph.D., Professor of laboratory medicine and pathobiology at the University of Toronto and Senior Scientist at the Sunnybrook Research Institute, will be investigating cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage mechanisms, specifically the role that the lymphatic vessels of the brain play in relation to CSF clearance. His group hopes to test how these lymphatic vessels respond to pharmaceutical intervention in relation to CSF drainage.
The research awards granted to Dr. McAllister and Dr. Johnston total $400,000 in new funding for hydrocephalus research and, along with prior awards, represent major progress around HA’s five year research plan which includes the following three priorities:
- Supporting the field of Hydrocephalus Research with Mentored Young Investigator Awards and the sponsorship of scientific conferences
- Supporting clinical research aimed at reducing shunt failure and improving outcomes
- Making basic science investments to understand the root causes of hydrocephalus
These new awards, aimed at increasing our understanding of the dynamics of cerebral spinal fluid, are HA’s first investments in the pathophysiology of CSF as part of the third priority of the five year plan. The Hydrocephalus Association has now funded grants totaling $1,367,000 since it initiated its commitment to support and fund research in 2009.