Three Scientists Awarded HA Grants for Their Bold and Innovative Work

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What if you could prevent or stop the development of hydrocephalus after a brain bleed or develop a shunt that doesn’t get clogged? That’s what the 2018 Hydrocephalus Association (HA) Innovator Award grantees are hoping to do through their research projects.

Dr. James M. Drake, Head of Neurosurgery, Chief of Perioperative Services, and Surgeon-in-Chief in the Department of Surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children, will test the use of focused ultrasound to dissolve blood clots in the brain of premature infants who have a brain bleed. The goal is to reduce the damage caused by blood in the ventricles and prevent hydrocephalus.

Dr. Carolyn Harris at her lab at Wayne State University.

Dr. Carolyn Harris, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Wayne State University, will conduct research to understand the reasons shunt fail on a molecular level. Her goal is to create a shunt catheter that does not block.

Dr. Kathleen Millen, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Principle Investigator at Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute, will conduct preclinical research to test a new drug to stop the development of posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus.

These scientists are testing innovative techniques and drug therapies that could potentially change the future of hydrocephalus.

“HA has funded Innovator Awards annually since 2015, and the results have been amazing.  From an investment of just over $1 million, these HA-funded researchers have gone on to secure over $8 million in addition funding to continue their research. Already we are seeing some of these projects move towards clinical trials, and the 2018 Innovator Award projects promise to be just as successful,” said Dr. Jenna Koschnitzky, HA’s National Director of Research.

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 2018 Innovator Awards was made possible through the support of the Posthemorrhagic Hydrocephalus Campaign and individual donations.

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