West Orange, NJ. March 31, 2014. Kessler Foundation is the recipient of a MS Research Center Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. John DeLuca, PhD, is principal investigator for the five-year $821,000 grant, which will fund the MS Collaborative Network of New Jersey (MSCNNJ). The MSCNNJ will bring together the Foundation's experts in mobility and cognitive research to advance understanding of cognitive-motor interaction in MS. Dr. DeLuca is Senior Vice President of Research and Training at the Foundation.
"We're very pleased that the Collaborative MS Research Center Award is going to a world-renowned team at the Kessler Foundation," commented Bruce F. Bebo, Jr., PhD, Associate Vice President of Discovery Research at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. "This is the first time that one of our Centers will be focusing on rehabilitation research to help people with MS live their best lives."
The newly funded MSCNNJ will leverage the significant base funding already obtained by Foundation scientists in the areas of cognitive rehabilitation, advanced brain imaging, fatigue, and motor rehabilitation, to design and conduct novel studies on cognitive-motor interactions in persons with MS. "Our goal is to conduct new and innovative research and expand professional training in this unique area of investigation, leading to discoveries that become part of tomorrow's treatment for persons with MS," said Dr. DeLuca. "Kessler Foundation is very pleased to lead the Society's new initiative in rehabilitation research in MS."
The MSCNNJ funds one major research project and one to two pilot projects per year for each of the five years of the grant. In addition, while the MSCNNJ already has significant external funding for post-doctoral training in clinical rehabilitation research, supplemental funding will be available to expand fellowship opportunities for post-doctoral fellows and graduate students interested in rehabilitation research in MS.
About MS Research at Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation's cognitive rehabilitation research in MS is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Consortium of MS Centers, the Patterson Trust, Biogen Idec, Hearst Foundation and Kessler Foundation. Under the leadership of John DeLuca, PhD, senior VP for Research & Training, and Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, director of Neuropsychology & Neuroscience and TBI Research, scientists have made important contributions to the knowledge of cognitive decline in MS. Clinical studies span new learning, memory, executive function, attention and processing speed, emotional processing, employment and cognitive fatigue. Research tools include innovative applications of neuroimaging, iPADs, and virtual reality. Among recent findings are the benefits of cognitive reserve and aerobic exercise; correlation between cognitive performance and outdoor temperatures; efficacy of short-term cognitive rehabilitation using modified story technique; factors related to risk for unemployment, and the correlation between memory improvement and cerebral activation on fMRI. The opening of the Neuroimaging Center at Kessler Foundation in 2013 has greatly expanded the Foundation's capability for neuroscience research in MS and other neurological conditions. Foundation research scientists have faculty appointments at Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School.
About Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. For more information, visit KesslerFoundation.org.
Carolann Murphy, PA; 973.324.8382; CMurphy@KesslerFoundation.org
Lauren Scrivo;973.324.8384/973.768.6583 (cell); LScrivo@KesslerFoundation.org