For Immediate Release
Contact: Susan Preston
At UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Two Researchers Receive a Total of $13.1 Million From National
Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health have awarded two grants totaling
$13.1 million to the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New
Jersey (UMDNJ)-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Dr. Ira B. Black, of Skillman, N.J., professor and chair of
the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, will receive
a $7.3 million five-year program grant to continue his research
into the molecular mechanisms that govern the growth and development
of the central nervous system.
A $5.8 million five-year grant has been awarded to Dr. Jeffrey
L. Carson, of Belle Mead, N.J., Richard C. Reynolds Professor
of Medicine and chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine.
The grant will support a multi-site clinical trial that will look
at functional outcomes in cardiovascular patients undergoing surgical
hip fracture repair.
"The cutting-edge research being conducted by Dr. Black and
Dr. Carson are excellent examples of why the medical school's
external research awards growth for 2003 set a new record," said
Dr. Harold L. Paz, dean of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
"Our scientists have achieved a momentum that should drive future
growth at a similar or even greater rate in 2004."
Dr. Black and his team have isolated genes critical for learning
and memory, research that could lead to a revolution in treating
degenerative and traumatic disorders of the brain.
The team also has discovered how to convert human and animal
stem cells into healthy neurons that can be transplanted into
human brains. The goal is to replace specific nerve cells that
degenerate to produce diseases characterized by memory loss, dementia
Dr. Carson's study will involve 2,600 hip fracture patients
with cardiovascular disease. The mean age of the patients is 80.
The clinical trial will be performed at up to 30 clinical centers
in the United States and Canada.
"Ten million units of blood transfused each year in the United
States, yet we have very little information to guide doctors on
how to optimally use blood," said Dr. Carson. "The goal of the
study is to determine how to best use blood transfusion in patients
undergoing surgery and to evaluate whether a more aggressive transfusion
strategy is associated with improved functional recovery and decreased
risk of adverse post-operative outcomes.