Message from the Scientific Director
The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, a Center of Excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, housed in the Lois Pope LIFE Center, is considered the premier investigative research program conducting cutting edge discovery, translational and clinical investigations targeting brain and spinal cord injury. Recent neuroscience discoveries have helped change the way we treat people with neurological disorders. This success is the result of a focused bench-tobedside approach to advance novel ideas and treatments. Several Miami Project initiated clinical trials are actively moving forward showing safety and efficacy. New multicenter therapeutic hypothermia clinical trials will
treat acutely injured patients with severe spinal cord or traumatic brain injury. Both of these exciting multicenter trials are based on findings originally conducted by Miami Project researchers that could change the way we treat acutely injured patients.
In the area of reparative medicine and axonal regeneration, studies and trials utilizing cellular therapies, state-of-the-art neurorehabilitation strategies and robotic devices to improve function are underway. Our initial human Schwann cell trial has been completed with encouraging results that are being submitted for peer review publication. The chronic spinal cord injury trial is evaluating Schwann cell transplantation in combination with an extensive rehabilitation protocol. At a time when the spinal cord field has witnessed some stem cell companies withdrawing their spinal cord programs, it is important to emphasize The Miami Project’s total commitment to develop and refine treatment protocols based on reproducible data to maximize recovery.
Another mission of The Miami Project is to utilize new technologies to better understand molecular mechanisms underlying cell death and axonal regeneration. The Miami Project Researchers are collaborating with industry to improve function. Our Educational and Outreach programs are reaching out to individuals throughout the United States and abroad. We acknowledge and thank our spinal cord injured community for their important contributions to the success of our research programs. With the future completion of the new Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center, our programs will continue to grow and help many more individuals with the quality of life issues associated with these injuries. We are most excited about the future as we continue to collaborate with scientists world-wide to obtain new knowledge and develop exciting therapeutic strategies. These are very exciting times in The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, and we greatly appreciate the critical support from our friends and colleagues.
W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D.
Barth A. Green, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Allan D. Levi, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S.