EAST HANOVER, NJ. February 5, 2021. Kessler Foundation scientists received three spinal cord injury research grants from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation to ensure that researchers have the capacity to complete projects delayed by the pandemic. The grants, which total nearly $113,000, were awarded to Amanda Botticello, PhD, MPH, Denise Fyffe, PhD, and Jeanne Zanca, PhD, MPT, who conduct research in the Center for Spinal Cord Injury Research and the Center for Outcomes and Assessment Research.
“Early during the pandemic, many of our research studies were temporarily put on hold in order to follow government stay-at-home guidelines and minimize risk to our participants,” said Trevor Dyson-Hudson, MD, director of the Centers for Spinal Cord Injury Research and Outcomes and Assessment Research. “Neilsen Foundation recognized these challenges and generously provided additional supplemental support to ensure that we can successfully complete these projects in spite of the delays. This is another great example of how partnering with the Neilsen Foundation has enabled us to make measurable progress toward improving the lives of people living with spinal cord injury.”
Amanda Botticello, PhD, MPH, assistant director, received $43,596 in funding for her continued study titled, “Mapping Context for a Better Understanding of Community Integration and Participation after Spinal Cord Injury.” People living with chronic paralysis after a spinal cord injury (SCI) often experience community integration and participation barriers. The study seeks to understand the role of the environment to address those barriers. Going forward, the project will incorporate assessments of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on social isolation and identify areas to improve interventions for people with disabilities during future public health crises.
Jeanne Zanca, PhD, MPT, senior research scientist received funding of $35,000 to support her project titled, “Neurofeedback to Assist Self-Regulation of Neuropathic Pain Post-Spinal Cord Injury.” While medications are often the primary method of treatment, they are inadequate for controlling neuropathic pain and the negative impact it has on quality of life. Dr. Zanca’s study seeks to identify novel non-pharmacologic strategies for managing pain. The study will use neuroimaging to test whether neurofeedback (a way of providing a person with information about his/her brain activity during a thinking task) can help people with SCI learn to control activity in brain areas related to pain, and learn to reduce the intensity and unpleasantness of the pain they experience.
Funding: Craig H. Neilsen Foundation
About the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation
For more information about the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, visit chnfoundation.org.
About Kessler Foundation
For more information on Kessler Foundation’s research, visit KesslerFoundation.org.