The Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation

The Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation

Steven Reny, Ali Salim, MD, Audrey Epstein Reny, Zhigang He, PhD, Barbara and Michael Eisenson, Nish Acharya, and Matthew Carty, MD, enjoy a reception following the Stepping Strong-funded Trauma and Innovation Symposium

Research Advances Are Highlighted at Trauma Research and Innovation Symposium


An inspiring speech by Stepping Strong Center Advisory Board member, Michael Eisenson

"The projects discussed at today’s symposium make it obvious why all of us are inspired to be part of the Stepping Strong effort. They also made clear there are incredibly exciting advances to be pursued—and that working across medical and scientific disciplines and institutions is essential to driving this work forward. But there is surprisingly limited funding for the early stages of the research required.

As is often the case in medical philanthropy, our interest was both deepened and focused by a recent traumatic spinal cord injury in our family, which caused our nephew to become paraplegic. As we began to research this particular area of trauma, we learned that there are great institutions, like the Brigham, that have deep capabilities in spine surgery and neurosurgery—but there was surprisingly little work being done here or elsewhere in the area of restoring spinal cord function.

Speaking with the medical leadership at the Brigham, we learned there is real interest in this work, and we felt that Stepping Strong would be a terrific vehicle to catalyze research in this area. In an ideal world, the research will lead to innovative therapeutics with wide application. But in all events, the deep enthusiasm of the Stepping Strong leadership gives us confidence that the work we’re supporting will, at a minimum, contribute to advancing knowledge toward an eventual therapy for people who have suffered traumatic spinal cord injury.

We’re very pleased to be able to play a small part in helping to advance a promising research collaboration in this critical area. So, thank you, and good luck to the research team!"