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Community Outreach

The Miami Project believes that an important component of developing treatments for paralysis involves communication with the community

The 2018 Community Open House at The Miami Project included laboratory tours and demonstrations, along with scientific presentations
The 2018 Community Open House at The Miami Project included laboratory tours and demonstrations, along with scientific presentations

The Education department, directed by Katie Gant, Ph.D., is responsible for helping thousands of our community members each year. Danielle Cilien, Outreach Coordinator, and Maria Chagoyen, Education Coordinator, are the other valuable members of the team. Each year, the department answers thousands of phone calls and emails to provide people with information about all of our research programs and clinical studies, rehabilitation resources, clinical care referral, resources for living with paralysis, and advice about experimental treatments and research from around the world. We also conduct numerous tours and lectures about our research. The graph shows the total number of people interacted with each month during 2018 outreach activities.

The Education department also assists all of The Miami Project clinical research faculty with recruitment for their clinical studies and trials. To participate in research studies individuals must first complete an intake form, which provides us with preliminary injury characteristics. Then, you receive a phone call from us to discuss the studies that you pre-qualify for and determine whether you are interested in proceeding with any studies. If so, we set up an appointment for you to come to our research center for a neurologic exam (“ASIA”) and introduction to the laboratories. The graph shows the cumulative number of individuals since 2010 that have volunteered to be contacted regarding research studies for which they may qualify. If you would like to complete an intake form, please visit the following link: http://bit.ly/MP-Intake. The intake form can also be accessed from The Miami Project website, under the research participation tab. A big thank you to the on-site participants our research center and online participants in surveys!

2018 Brain Fair at the Miami-Dade STEAM Expo.
2018 Brain Fair at the Miami-Dade STEAM Expo.

On February 10, 2018 the Education department participated in the Miami-Dade STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) Expo as part of the Brain Fair. We hosted a spinal cord injury exhibit and provided hands-on and interactive activities to teach people of all ages about how the spinal cord interacts with the brain and controls the body. In addition to The Miami Project Education team, medical students from the Neurosurgery Interest Group (NSIG), Anelia Kassi, Justin Achua, and David Valdivia, helped teach kids about the spinal cord.

On April 21, 2018 the Education department hosted the 8th Annual Miami Project Community Open House. We enjoy this opportunity to open up our doors to the public to answer questions and share information, as well as to hear direct input from our community. The topics discussed included wound healing mechanisms after experimental SCI, cardiometabolic health and exercise in SCI, and an update on clinical trials progress. We also held a session about stem cells, including a “crash course”, information about the regulation, ethics, and safety of experimental stem cell treatments, and a panel discussion with our stem cell experts. We also hosted laboratory demonstrations and tours, which included neuromotor rehabilitation, male fertility, cardiometabolic physiology, fitness and function, cells in culture, as well as our SCI Model Systems group.

If you’d like to connect with our Education department, please email us at mpinfo@med.miami.edu or call us at 305-243-7108.


OPEN HOUSE

We invited our spinal cord injured community to join us for our 7th Annual Open House, to visit our research center and learn about the latest in spinal cord injury research.  Guests received an update about clinical trials and pre-clinical breakthroughs and technologies.  They joined in the conversation about stem cells, their use in research, and how to evaluate experimental treatments.  Visitors also saw some of our labs before the scientific program starts, and meet the scientists and clinicians.

Watch the videos from our Experts.

Expert presentations by Dr. Pantelis Tsoulfas, Dr. Allan Levi, Dr. Damien Pearse , Dr. Jae Lee and Dr. Jen Maher