The Chuck Noll Foundation is delighted to announce the disbursement of our 2020 second and third round funding for our ‘17-’18 and ‘18-’19 cycles of research grants.  Despite the devastating global health crisis, we know the temporary delay in research does not detract from the significance of funding these early stage seed grants. Researchers at institutions in our local region are working toward a more thorough and comprehensive understanding of traumatic brain injury and its effects. We are proud to be working in tandem with these researchers and eagerly await their contributions to help better prevent, diagnose, and treat traumatic brain injuries sustained through sports of all levels, just as our legendary namesake, Chuck Noll, aspired to facilitate.

These grants include: 

  • A $50,000 disbursement to Dr. C. Edward Dixon, PhD and Dr. Shaun Carlson of the University of Pittsburgh for their research on Decosahexaenoid Acid and Presynaptic Mechanisms in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. This will complete the three year inquiry into the use of one of the brain’s fatty acids to improve the functioning of neurons damaged by multiple mild traumatic brain injuries. 

  • A $40,000 check to Dr. Pulkit Grover of Carnegie Mellon University for his research on Novel Systems for Concussion Monitoring and Treatment Automated Detection and Suppression of Brain Tsunamis for Alleviating Brain Damage from Concussive Injuries. This will complete funding for a three year study of Cortical Spreading Depolarizations (CSDs), or brain tsunamis, and the development of automated, noninvasive monitoring and concussion treatments through the partnership of scientific leaders in engineering and neuroscience and clinicians in the brain injury field. 

  • A final $50,000 grant to Dr. Ava Puccio, PhD and Jessica M. Fill, RN, PhD of the University of Pittsburgh for research into the Biomarker Panel for Inflammation and Tau in Concussed Athletes. In this three year study, researchers are working on generating a temporal timeline of biological pathways implicated in concussion, using novel sweat patch analyses and correlation to objective symptomatology. 

  • Our first disbursement of $62,500 in partnership with The Pittsburgh Foundation to Dr. Julia Kofler, MD and Dr. Oscar Lopez, MD of the University of Pittsburgh for the National Sports Brain Bank. This grant is for the establishment of a clinical and pathological database, in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Steelers, of retired football players and other athletes to examine the natural history of cognitive deficits and their corresponding brain lesions at autopsy. 

  • A $50,000 disbursement to Dr. Ruchira M. Jha, MD and Patrick M. Kochanek, MD of the University of Pittsburgh for their project Sulfonylurea Receptor-1 and Glyburide: Preventing Brain Swelling and Providing Neuroprotection in Mild Repetitive Traumatic Brain Injury. With the Foundation’s grant, these researchers have utilized a pre-clinical approach to develop new understanding and therapy for second impact syndrome reported in high school and college athletes. 

  • The second $50,000 installment to Dr. Shaun Carlson, PhD of the University of Pittsburgh for research on Levetiracetam as a Therapy for Synaptic Dysfunction After Repetitive Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Dr. Carlson is focusing on the effect of levetiracetam treatment on neurotransmission deficits and cognitive dysfunction after experimental repetitive mild traumatic brain injury. 

  • A final $75,000 installment to Dr. Amelia Versace, MD of the University of Pittsburgh for research in the Identification of Saliva Biomarkers Predicting the Clinical Course and Outcome of Adolescents with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. This grant is focusing on examining the extent to which levels of saliva microRNAs in the early phase of injury can predict the severity of short- and long-term symptomatology.