Innovative Research Programs In Neurological Disorders

Developing research capacity and collaboration to improve understanding and treatment of diseases associated with neuroinflammation

Full Project Name:Developing Innovative Research Programs in Clinically Relevant Neurological DisordersPrincipal Investigator:Cecilia J. Hillard, PhD, Pharmacology/ToxicologyCo-Investigator:Michael W Lawlor, MD, PhD, Pathology-PediatricsAward Amount:3,000,000
Award Date
Project Duration:72 months

Project Description Narrative:

Neuroinflammation contributes to most brain diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and ALS, as well as chronic pain, depression, and addiction.

The total impact of neurological and psychiatric disorders on the people of Wisconsin is not tracked. Yet it is known that each of these diseases can have devastating impacts on an individual's daily life, and are costly to Wisconsin reisdents. For Alzheimer's disease, which is one of the top 10 causes of death for Wisconsin residents ages 75 to 84, the Medicare costs for treatment pose an estiimated $3 billion yearly burden in Wisconsin. Chronic pain also has a significant cost, with statistics suggesting that it results in an estimate $10 billion yearly burden in Wisconsin.

Through this award, the Medical College of Wisconsin Neuroscience Research Center will grow capacity and collaborations in the area of neuroinflammation in order to improve understanding of brain inflammation and treatment options for these diseases.

Project Updates:

  • Initiated faculty recruitment process with development of a search committee and initial interview process underway
  • Purchased and placed into service a Leica SP8 confocal microscope for use across multiple laboratories
  • Established process and RFA for pilot awards, awarding one seed grant
  • Established new opportunities for collaboration among investigators, including developing a pain subgroup within the Neuroscience Research Center and establishing a journal club
  • Began documentation of new discoveries around graft versus host disease, pain perception, and mild traumatic brain injury

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