On Our Minds


March 1, 2018 — The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation’s 2017 Snapshot provides an in depth look at the Foundation’s programming and grantmaking. In order to protect premature disclosure of our grantee’s unpublished findings, we have edited the document excluding specific names and ongoing studies. However, the direction of the research in specific portfolios is provided in broad strokes, which still create a compelling look at the exciting projects we support. We hope that by sharing this piece, in addition to our search feature (see What We Fund/Funded Grants), the community has the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of where the Foundation focused its efforts in 2017 and finds new opportunities for potential funding.

The Foundation’s reach and breath continues to grow and we’re excited to share how our work is touching the field.

Click here to view the 2017 Snapshot. 



New Jersey Health Foundation funds stroke study by Kessler Foundation & Stevens Institute

March 21, 2018

EAST HANOVER, NJ (Infosurhoy) – Karen Nolan, PhD. senior research scientist in Human Performance and Engineering Research at Kessler Foundation, will collaborate with Stevens Institute of Technology on a grant from New Jersey Health Foundation. With this $35,000 grant, investigators will develop and test the SAFE (Stevens Ankle-Foot Electromechanical) Orthosis, an adaptive oscillator-based assistive device with sensory stimulation to facilitate recovery of gait symmetry in stroke survivors. 

Epidural stimulation shown to normalize blood pressure following spinal cord injury

March 19, 2018

LOUISVILLE, KY (EurekAlert!) – Patients with severe spinal cord injury (SCI) often experience chronically low blood pressure that negatively affects their health, their quality of life and their ability to engage in rehabilitative therapy. “People with severe spinal cord injury – especially when it occurs in a higher level in the spine – have problems with blood pressure regulation to the point that it becomes the main factor affecting quality of life for them,” said Glenn Hirsch, M.D., professor of cardiology at the University of Louisville (UofL). 

Students with spinal cord injury invited to apply for full scholarship

March 14, 2018
Penn State News

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA (Penn State News) – Penn State students with spinal cord injury are invited to apply for a full scholarship offered by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, in partnership with Penn State’s Student Disability Resources office. Designed to support individuals with spinal cord injury in their pursuit of higher education, the Neilsen Scholarship Program provides undergraduate and graduate student recipients with scholarships and supplemental support as they earn their degrees. 

Dr. Botticello receives Neilsen Foundation Grant to improve spinal cord injury outcomes

March 9, 2018

EAST HANOVER, NJ (EurekAlert!) – Amanda Botticello, PhD, MPH, has been awarded a $400,000 grant from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation to observe community activity spaces in order to better understand the influence of the environment on participation behavior among people with spinal cord injury (SCI). Research indicates that the physical environment, that is, places where individuals work and reside – is a key social determinant of health and disability. 

Researchers Use Human Neural Stem Cell Grafts to Repair Spinal Cord Injuries in Monkeys

February 26, 2018
UC San Diego Health

SAN DIEGO, CA (UC San Diego Health) – Led by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, a diverse team of neuroscientists and surgeons successfully grafted human neural progenitor cells into rhesus monkeys with spinal cord injuries. The grafts not only survived, but grew hundreds of thousands of human axons and synapses, resulting in improved forelimb function in the monkeys.

People with tetraplegia gain rapid use of brain-computer interface

January 24, 2018

PROVIDENCE, RI (EurekAlert!) – For a brain-computer interface (BCI) to be truly useful for a person with tetraplegia, it should be ready whenever it’s needed, with minimal expert intervention, including the very first time it’s used. In a new study in the journal of Neural Engineering, researchers in the BrainGate* collaboration demonstrate new techniques that allowed three participants to achieve peak BCI performance within three minutes of engaging in an easy, one-step process.

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