On Our Minds


May 7, 2018 — As a way to honor the incredible gift from
Craig H. Neilsen and ensure that the Foundation is fulfilling its commitment as a leader in the field, the staff recently initiated a look back at the Foundation’s funding. Evaluating the impact of our grantmaking is a priority, but given the methodologies for assessing impact are varied across our portfolios, Foundation staff used a variety of analyses in order to analyze how our support stimulates progress in the field.

Click here to view the Impact Snapshot.


Dr. Marion Murray, 81, co-founded Drexel’s Spinal Cord Research Center

October 5, 2018
The Inquirer Daily News Philly.com

PHILADELPHIA, PA (The Inquirer Daily News Philly.com) – Marion Murray, 81, of Wayne, a prominent spinal cord researcher who cofounded the Drexel University College of Medicine Spinal Cord Research Center, died Sunday, Sept 9, following complications of esophageal cancer. Dr. Murray led spinal cord research at Drexel for more than 30 years. 

Campus Undergoing Transformation at University of Utah Hospital

September 25, 2018
Construction EquipmentGuide.com

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (Construction EquipmentGuide.com) – University of Utah Health is undergoing new expansions that will let it better serve the growing population of Utah and better train the next generation of health care professionals. The new buildings will improve science, training and care services to bring world-class health to more patients in Utah and beyond. 

Spinal cord stimulation, physical therapy help paralyzed man stand, walk with assistance

September 24, 2018

ROCHESTER, MN (EurekAlert!) – Spinal cord stimulation and physical therapy have helped a man paralyzed since 2013 regain his ability to stand and walk with assistance. The results, achieved in a research collaboration between Mayo Clinic and UCLA, are reported in Nature Medicine. 

Paralyzed people are beginning to walk with a new kind of therapy

September 24, 2018
The Washington Post

WASHINGTON, DC (Washington Post) – Kelly Thomas woke up in a Florida hospital four years ago with no recollection of the car accident that had robbed her of the ability to walk. Thomas, an active college student who had barrel raced in rodeos, moved to Kentucky for a year to try out a research study that she hoped would retrain her spinal cord on how to walk. 

Epidural stimulation leads to recovery of cardiovascular function in spinal-cord-injured

September 17, 2018

LOUISVILLE, KY (EurekAlert!) – For the first time since 2009, Stefanie Putnam is able to prepare – and eat – meals for herself, put the vest on her service dog, Kaz, and drive herself to activities with her horse without losing consciousness or gasping for breath. “My whole life has opened up for me again!” Putnam said. 

New therapy spurs nerve fibres to regrow through scar tissue and transmit signals after spinal cord injury in rats

August 31, 2018
Spinal News International

LONDON, UK (Spinal News International) – Neuroscientists at UCLA, Harvard University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have identified a three-pronged treatment that triggers axons to regrow after complete spinal cord injury in rodents. In addition to facilitating axon growth through scar tissue, the treatment enabled the transmission of signals across the damaged tissue, the Nature study reports. 

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