Representative Nita Lowey

Representing the 17th District of New York

Lowey Announces more than $2.3 million in Federal Funding for Burke Neurological Institute

June 27, 2019
Press Release

National Institutes of Health grant will be used to study potential therapeutic strategies for spinal cord injury, stroke, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, and neurodegenerative diseases

WHITE PLAINS, NY – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Westchester-Rockland) today announced that Burke Neurological Institute in White Plains, NY, has been awarded a $466,241 annual federal grant for five years, expected to total more than $2.3 million, from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study strategies for rehabilitation after spinal cord trauma.

“Spinal cord injuries and neurodegenerative diseases not only rob people of the joys of everyday movement, but they can dramatically harm an individual’s autonomy,” said Congresswoman Nita Lowey. “This funding will support the efforts of Burke Neurological Institute, of Weill Cornell Medicine, to pave a path for therapeutic advances to improve voluntary muscle movements and motor recovery in individuals who have suffered a spinal cord injury. As Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue to secure federal resources that benefit the Lower Hudson Valley.”

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, in 2018 there were approximately 288,000 people living with spinal cord injuries in the United States, and this number is projected to grow by 18,000 cases each year. The NIH grant will focus on limb function and could have broad implications in helping those with spinal cord injuries walk and run without assistance.

“One of the major priorities of the Burke Neurological Institute, an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medicine, is to repair the spinal cord after trauma so people can walk again,” said Dr. Rajiv Ratan, Executive Director of Burke Neurological Institute. “Intense focus around the world has been directed toward repairing local circuits below the neck. Dr. Edmund Hollis’s exciting studies suggest that the intact brain above the spinal cord can contribute to functional recovery in exciting new ways. We appreciate Congresswoman Nita Lowey’s advocacy and continued support of funding for scientific research from the NIH.”

Dr. Ratan said that Dr. Hollis has been successful in getting other NIH funding including a Director’s Innovation Award, so this grant represents another validation of the approaches he is taking in his laboratory in White Plains at the Burke Neurological Institute.

Last week, as the Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Lowey led the House in passing a fiscal year 2020 spending package that includes a $2 billion increase in federal funding for NIH. Lowey was also instrumental in securing an estimated $82 million in spinal cord injury research for FY 2019.

 

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