NIH Grant Funds Traumatic Brain Injury Research

Miller School scientists will join researchers from more than 20 other institutions in the International Traumatic Brain Injury Initiative, a five-year international research project on concussion and traumatic brain injury funded by an $18.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Gillian Hotz, Ph.D., associate research professor of neurological surgery, Director of Kidz Neuroscience Center, and Director of Concussion, WalkSafe and BikeSafe Programs Research, and Ross Bullock, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurological surgery and Director of Clinical Neurotrauma, will lead the Miller research team. Both are also affiliated with The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.

“This multi-center trial will significantly advance traumatic brain injury research, and improve management and treatment, leading to better outcomes,” said Hotz.

Also participating in the initiative are the European Commission, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Defense. The NIH award is part of one of the largest international research collaborations ever coordinated by funding agencies.

Prior research has demonstrated the value of gathering common data across research sites, including a standardized approach to imaging, clinical data, bio-specimens and tracking outcomes. The new NIH award funds a continuation and expansion of that approach.

One goal is the creation of a widely accessible, comprehensive data base to integrate clinical, imaging, proteomic, genomic and outcome biomarkers from subjects across age and injury spectra. Another goal is to establish the value of biomarkers that will improve classification of traumatic brain injury and better optimize selection and assignment of patients for clinical trials.

Recruiting for the trials will begin early this month.

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