Grant to support pediatric stroke research at CU

Richard J. Traystman, Ph.D., and his research group have been awarded $2.5 million over four years from the American Heart/Stroke Association and the Bugher Foundation. This award forms the basis of the new University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus ASA/Bugher Foundation Stroke Collaborative Research Center of Excellence.

The grant focuses on pediatric stroke and involves investigators from seven different departments or specialties on the Anschutz campus — Anesthesiology, Biostatistics, Cell and Developmental Biology, Neurology, Pediatrics, Pharmacology and Radiology.

“We will use this funding to explore stroke in children,” said Traystman, vice chancellor for research for University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus. “Stroke in children can have devastating lifelong consequences and there is much to be learned in this area.”

Specifically, the goal of this grant is to determine mechanisms of brain injury, protection and repair of brain tissue following stroke in children and to begin to train a new generation of pediatric stroke physicians and researchers to better understand and treat children with stroke.

Traystman’s group previously has shown differences between adults and children in clinical aspects of pediatric stroke, mechanisms of injury to the brain, protection of the brain and recovery, and repair of brain tissue (plasticity).

Timothy Bernard, M.D., will study the neuropsychological and quality of life outcomes in childhood acute stroke. Traystman and Paco Herson, PhD, will investigate neuronal injury and functional recovery following stroke in a pediatric mouse model.  Wendy Macklin, Ph.D., will study white matter injury and mechanisms of repair following stroke in a pediatric mouse model.

The center includes a Stroke Research Training Fellowship component, directed by Sharon Poisson, M.D. Once this group understands more about the mechanisms of injury, recovery and repair with stroke, they can then try to restore function to injured brains and try to determine how to restore some of the remarkable brain plasticity that is lost with age.

 

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