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431,245.17 USD for basic stem cell research on spinal cord injuries

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  • 431,245.17 USD for basic stem cell research on spinal cord injuries

    Just wanted to share and say a few of us yesterday managed to get around $430,000 for a basic research stem cell project on spinal cord injuries we have been planning to start here in Norway from 1st of January 2009. This is not a lot of money, but it will add to existing funding for the project and help to gain goodwill from other sources of funding.

    I’ll try to explain the project by translating some Norwegian writing into English writing below here:

    The project is for the time being named “Human stem cells for replacement of lost nerve cells in spinal cord injured peoples.”

    Researchers from the University of Oslo will carry out the project.

    Background: There are about 3000-5000 spinal cord injured in Norway with around 100 new incidents each year. Around half of the traumatic injuries is caused by road accidents and happens to young people. Progress in emergency treatment and hospital routines has made it so that an increased number of peoples survives spinal cord injuries and lives thereafter as disabled, often in wheelchairs. The economical burden impact on the individuals and the society could be considerable. This projects goal is to make important steps towards clinical treatments for spinal cord injuries by combining implantation of human stem cells into spinal cord injured animals by “high-throughput” optical registering of synaptic connections on new/created stem cell derivated nerve cells. This will give us important knowledge as for which types of stem cells which are best suitable for such treatments, and to which degree stem cell derivated nerve cells can be integrated into functioning circuits in the injured spinal cord.

    Method: To obtain the goal of the project we want to implant 3 different types of human stem cells in different animal model systems for spinal cord injuries. We want to use advanced electrophysiological and optical registration methods to investigate at which degree stem cells integrates themselves in a functional way in the injured spinal cord, with emphasis on if they can be activated by descending signalling pathways from the brain. In addition the stem cell differentiation to nerve cells will be mapped by usage of morphological, electrophysiological and molecular-biological methods and analysis.

    The projects importance: Two major issues with spinal cord injuries are often forgotten. Firstly, several nerve cells are lost with injuries like SCI. To regain satisfactory functioning, replacement of lost nerve cells will be required. Secondly, if new connections are made in treatments of spinal cord injuries, either by regeneration of injured nerve fibres (axons), sprouting of new branches from uninjured nerves/fibres, injecting of new nerve cells from stem cells, or as a result of reorganisation of existing connections, -one has to map and study if the new connections are made on the right target cells. Thereby better knowledge is required on how new connections can be made with the correct specificity. These two issues for spinal cord injurie research has gained to little focus in the spinal cord injury research field, and represents a special area where research on human stem cells as a replacement for lost nerve cells in the spinal cord, combined with functional studies of new synaptic connections, can be expected to give important results with high clinical relevance.

    Work schedule: The project is expected to last for 3 year. Due to the main methods as for electrophysiological and optical registration already is established, the first year will mainly be used for injecting human stem cells into injured spinal cords, with following registration of synaptic connections. During the second year this will carry on, but then one also will study the differentiation by usage of morphological (intracellular and retrograde tracing) and molecular-biological (single cell qPCR) methods. The third year will involve a continuing on all fronts as required.

    PS. The definite details for the project are not fully described, but the above should highlight some of it. Anyway, it will be another SCI research project that will be up and running. And we need more of that.

  • #2
    And we need more of that.
    Thank you for the heads up! Can you post a link, please?
    "It's not the despair, I can handle the despair! It's the hope!" - John Cleese

    Don't ask what clinical trials can do for you, ask what you can do for clinical trials. (Ox)
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    • #3
      thanks leif,

      is this a strictly Norwegian project

      any thoughts giving to colaberation

      do you sign the checks

      are there some realistic strings attached to funds

      thanks agin
      http://justadollarplease.org/

      2010 SCINet Clinical Trial Support Squad Member

      "You kids and your cures, why back when I was injured they gave us a wheelchair and that's the way it was and we liked it!" Grumpy Old Man

      .."i used to be able to goof around so much because i knew Superman had my back. now all i've got is his example -- and that's gonna have to be enough."

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      • #4
        Originally posted by topperf View Post
        Thank you for the heads up! Can you post a link, please?
        Sorry topperf, there are no links. This is new info of today, first posted here on CareCure (and here, a Norwegian SCI website). The above text is some of the text we used to get the money.

        But we have some info on the professor and researchers that will head and carry out the project for sure. Here is some in Norwegian for you since you can read that (some images from the lab too); If you move you’re mouse on the magazines here on this link saying nr. 2-2008 and nr. 1-2007 you will find info on the professor and team that will carry out the research and here is also a link to another study the team did some time ago (this new study will not be like this though). Here is also some from the Reeve foundation (Superman) and here the first piece is about the professor. Hope it helps.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Leo View Post
          thanks leif,

          is this a strictly Norwegian project

          any thoughts giving to colaberation

          do you sign the checks

          are there some realistic strings attached to funds

          thanks agin
          Hi buddy Leo and thanks for questions,

          It’s a Norwegian project. But the members of the research team comes from many different countries (biology and medical research here in Norway is carried out by researchers originated from a lot of countries), in fact only 20-30 percent of the team that will carry out this particular research are native born Norwegians. The professor himself that will head the research, professor Joel Glover is originally from California USA, and studied in San Diego and got his PhD in California (PhD in Neurobiology at Berkeley), and his deputy, Marie-Claude Perrault is originally from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Another woman in the team is from Hungary and another fellow is from Asia, and so on. I can also mention that Glover has a few contacts worldwide, like in Japan, and in the US. For example has Hans Keirstead from California been over here and likewise has Glover had contacts with Keirstead for a long time, just to mention some connections. And as we speak professor Glover is in the US. Researchers over here are not working in a vacuum you see. Leo, they collaborate and will do more, and Glover is a prime example of that. That is also inline on how the research is now planned in Norway for the future (medical research it is on the agenda), quite a few grips and strategies is been worked at seriously, all the way from the government and down to aid and prosper medical research in different ways and fields. And I am pleased to see that neuroscience also will be on that list on what the govs will prioritise. Still we are a small country.

          As for realistic strings attached to the money - no there are none - other than some of us SCI’ed will be following this research carefully, but that will not be a problem, we have good relations with our SCI researchers, -we are a team and we help where we can help. No strings other than that, this is basic research you see, which I feel we need more of.

          Me signing checks for 'millions' for SCI research, -I wish (but this one I have responsibilities for, pls don’t sue me).


          But that aside, I am at it to get more money and support, no time to rest now. I’m off on an airplane ride the 5th of December (when I also will meet professor Glover), then a new flight the 8th of December (to talk with our health and care minister from our government), then the 9th of the December (for a demonstration in front of our parliament building etc.) and the 10th of December (to discuss more with health officials) and then a new flight the 12th of December (in a national research board set to help/aid basic and advanced research to enter the clinics), all for the cause of more research support on SCI. Puhh? I worked less when engineering oil platforms back in the good ole days

          Anyway, I find this to be inspirational and give boost to work harder. We (world) really need much more SCI research. In many ways.

          SCI’ed need quality rehab, research on many fields, including studies in fields like this, this is just one of those studies and fields.
          Last edited by Leif; 11-26-2008, 02:49 PM.

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          • #6
            Good for Norway, nice work Leif! Keep us posted.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by carbar View Post
              Good for Norway, nice work Leif! Keep us posted.
              Thank you. Plan for Norway in April 2009 Carbar, some are working on something very social too in Oslo during a weekend in April next year.

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              • #8
                Congratulations are in order for you and your fellow countrymen, Lief. Thank you very much.
                No one ever became unsuccessful by helping others out

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                • #9
                  Good job Leif! Go forward!!
                  In God we trust; all others bring data. - Edwards Deming

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