The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation has announced a $9.25 million grant to Penn Medicine in support of research on the underlying mechanisms of concussion and clinical interventions that could improve recovery.
The grant will support a team of researchers led by David F. Meaney, the Solomon R. Pollack Professor and Chair of Bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Douglas H. Smith, director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair and the Robert A. Groff Professor of Neurosurgery in the Perelman School of Medicine. The interdisciplinary project will take a comprehensive, data-driven approach to what happens to the brain during and after concussion, including neural circuit connectivity, multiple cell types, blood flow, and the importance of the blood-brain barrier.
"In particular, we hope to decipher how the brain can re-route signals to bring its network back online after a concussion," said Smith.
The foundation believes that by focusing on how cellular events combine and influence concussion recovery pathways — instead of viewing concussions as stemming from a single mechanism — the research project could bring about a paradigm shift in the understanding of traumatic brain injuries and lead to more effective methods of preventing and treating concussions.
"We are thrilled to be the recipients of this grant and to have the resources to address the fundamentals of concussion science in a new way," said Meaney. "We have assembled a diverse team of experts in many fields across several academic institutions to take a comprehensive approach to the problem, and are very grateful for the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation's bold vision to accelerate concussion science and treatment."