2018 Stepping Strong Innovator Award for Spinal Cord Research:
Request for Applications
The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation announces a 2018 Stepping Strong Innovator Award with a specific focus to support research and innovation in the field of spinal column and cord injury in the areas of spinal cord, nerve damage and its associated recovery, and affiliated neuroscience complications that impact both civilian and military patients.
The Stepping Strong Center will fund a high-reward project by the best, most creative and collaborative physicians, bioengineers and bench top researchers in the Boston area. Multidisciplinary projects with collaborators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital will receive enhanced consideration in this application process.
Stepping Strong expects to provide one grant of up to $100,000 in 2018.
The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation
The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation seeks to mobilize interdisciplinary innovation and collaboration to fuel research and care for the benefit of civilians and military heroes worldwide who have suffered devastating traumatic injuries and events. It aims to transform the care of trauma patients through science, innovation, and new technology.
Trauma is one of the most demanding global and under-recognized medical challenges in our nation. In the U.S. alone, traumatic injuries are the third leading cause of death across all age groups and the No. 1 cause of death for Americans between 1 and 44 years old. For those serving in the military, 82 percent of soldiers return from battle with at least one wounded limb. Yet, despite these dire statistics, trauma care research still only receives less than one percent of funding from the National Institutes of Health.
Stepping Strong was stablished in 2014 by the Reny and Epstein families, who were injured survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings and were grateful for their care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation is a major initiative with a global vision to change how we think about traumatic injury. Through its support for trauma research, and collaboration, the center aims to move the field beyond the current paradigm and to translate new ideas directly to transform outcomes and improve patient’s lives.
Since its inception, the Stepping Strong Center has taken a multidisciplinary, three-pronged approach to advancing research and clinical programs that allow BWH and Boston-area researchers to accelerate innovations in trauma care and saving lives. The Stepping Strong Research Scholars are engaged in exploring topics to advance bone and skin regeneration in trauma patients; the Stepping Strong Innovator Awards program supports groundbreaking projects that address clinical problems that impact both civilian and military patients; and the Stepping Strong Plastic Surgery Trauma Fellowship trains the next generation of plastic surgeons in advanced techniques for treating acute and complex traumatic injury. Our physician-scientists are collaborating with medical experts from world-class neighboring institutions, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and our Medical Executive Committee consists of leading physicians and researchers from 11 academic institutions.
Stepping Strong’s grants have proven to be the critical early stage funding that innovators and researchers have needed to launch or validate their innovative ideas. To date, Stepping Strong has provided $1.7 million in Innovator Awards to 12 researchers at BWH. In just a few short years, several of those researchers have leveraged their Innovator Awards and other grants to secure major research grants from private philanthropy, corporations and federal agencies. In aggregate, our Innovator Award winners have raised an additional $7 million in outside funding for their research.
In addition to funding, a Stepping Strong Innovator award connects you to our Medical Executive Committee and a community of over 100 researchers, clinicians and mentors all focused on traumatic injury in the Greater Boston area, as well as our Advisory Board, comprised of leading venture capitalists, investors, life science executives and thought leaders that attend our events and provide strategic advice to the Center and our researchers. Our grant recipients have already started leveraging these networks to begin commercializing their products or gaining national exposure for their work.
Stepping Strong organizes and co-hosts events for researchers and physicians to understand research commercialization, grant writing, and innovation in general, often in partnership with other Centers at BWH and in the Partners network. Stepping Strong also hosts specialty research working groups and provides other opportunities for grant recipients to solicit feedback and share their research with peers to move their work forward.