Grant Launches Partnership for SCI Cures at ICORD

ICORD’s cutting edge spinal cord injury research will be accelerated by a 10-year, $20 million grant from the Rick Hansen Foundation, fueling efforts to pursue treatments in the laboratory and to launch clinical trials.

The Rick Hansen Foundation announced this morning at an event at the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre that this funding will launch the Blusson Integrated Cures Partnership, bringing together ICORD and the Rick Hansen Institute to leverage the strengths of each organization to identify new treatments for spinal cord injury (SCI), and apply existing treatments for other neurological disorders, injuries and diseases to SCI. One of the goals for the partnership will be creating an international network of SCI researchers for pursuing laboratory research and clinical trials, and facilitating participation of people with SCI in clinical trials related to their condition.

“We look forward to increasing collaboration by engaging with people with SCI, research leaders and clinicians so that the most promising discoveries with the best chance of achieving cures will make it out of the labs and into clinical trials,”  noted Dr. Wolfram Tetzlaff, Incoming Director of ICORD.  “Then, these results will be applied to people with SCI who can benefit the most from them.”

“ICORD’s scientists and clinicians have been working on many fronts in the quest to treat spinal cord injury, such as stimulating the re-growth of nerve fibres in the damaged cord, or re-training spared or re-grown nerve fibres through rehabilitation,” said Dr. Gavin Stuart, Dean of the UBC Faculty of Medicine and Vice Provost, Health. “We are grateful for this new infusion of support from the Rick Hansen Foundation, and look forward to working closely with the Rick Hansen Foundation and the Rick Hansen Institute on the most effective allocation of funds, and the most promising strategies for bringing our discoveries to patients.”

The partnership is named for the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre, home to both ICORD and RHI.

Dr. Wolfram Tetzlaff, Acting Director of ICORD, presents at the funding announcement, Friday April 13, 2013:

Dr. Brian Kwon, Rick Hansen and Dr. Wolfram Tetzlaff after the announcement.

Dr. Brian Kwon, Rick Hansen and Dr. Wolfram Tetzlaff after the announcement.