Penn researchers score $9.25 million from Microsoft co-founder to study traumatic brain injuries
A research team at Philadelphia-based Penn Medicine has secured a $9.25 million grant to study of concussions with the aim of improving care and recovery.
David F. Meaney, professor and chair of bioengineering, will lead the investigation, working with Douglas H. Smith, MD., director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair and professor of neurosurgery.
The project is funded by the Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s foundation.
The study takes a comprehensive and data-driven look at what happens to the brain during and after concussion. The project also includes 10 faculty members from Penn, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Duke and Columbia Universities.
Instead of viewing concussions as stemming from a single mechanism, the research is designed to discover how cellular events combine and influence concussion recovery pathways.
The goal is to better understand traumatic brain injuries, leading to more effective methods of preventing and treating concussions.
"In particular, we hope to decipher how the brain can re-route signals to bring its network back online after a concussion," Smith said in a statement.
The research team will combine studies in living systems with data-driven approaches that will provide insight into mechanisms of damage associated with concussion, as well as what leads to successful brain repair. Because individual cases of concussion vary widely, capturing data at the level of cells, circuits, blood flow, and metabolism will help to make sense of the concussions’ diverse outcomes and help uncover potential clinical interventions to boost recovery.