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Reeve Foundation Refocuses Research Program

Statement of Peter T. Wilderotter, President and CEO of the Reeve Foundation:
Thirty years after the founding of the American Paralysis Association, the Reeve Foundation has significant opportunities presented by the extraordinary advance in understanding the healthy and injured spinal cord. Over the last several years, the Reeve Foundation has gradually created a constellation of programs intended to discover, develop, and test the clinical efficacy of new knowledge about the injured spinal cord and how its functionality can be restored. The Foundation's contributions to the field of spinal cord injury are indisputable -- we have invested over $102 million into spinal cord research. The question now is how can we most effectively continue our investments in research.

In today's spinal cord field, new findings emerge with rapid-fire speed, but there is a lack of the funding needed to develop and test the therapeutic potential of these new findings and translate them into safe and effective clinical interventions.

The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation is expanding its scientific research program and will be offering new opportunities to apply for research grants. The Reeve Foundation welcomes this influx of funding into the field; it will have a significant impact on progress and it will allow us to focus on the more applied end of the bench-to-bedside continuum. For additional information on the Neilsen Foundation research grants, please visit www.chnfoundation.org.

After a lengthy period of review and assessment of the international spinal cord research field, and consideration of where the Reeve Foundation can have the greatest impact, we are redefining our research priorities. Effective immediately, the Reeve Foundation is redirecting our resources and energies from the Individual Research Grants program to programs that are more translational in nature, more patient-focused. We intend to build on our clinical networks, continue to support basic and applied research through the International Research Consortium and through a Special Opportunities Fund and more effectively integrate all these programs into a dynamic whole.

We believe a shift to more patient-oriented research is a logical consequence of progress in the field -- we have been a leader in spinal cord research for thirty years and our new direction reflects the emergence of potentially promising interventions worthy of development and application.

This new focus also begins to address a very real challenge for the field and for consumers: how to bridge the gap between basic science and clinical application. The Reeve Foundation, with its well-established research networks, its convening power, and its longstanding partnerships with scientific leaders, has the wherewithal to begin to break down existing barriers to translation.

Individual Research Grants Funding 1982 - 2012

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Continue Christopher Reeve's LegacyPhoto by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders