The Cleveland Foundation board of directors has approved a $1.5 million grant to Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) to support the development of the Cleveland Brain Health Initiative (CBHI), linking the work of neuroscience leaders from CWRU, University Hospitals, Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth Medical Center and the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center.
Dr. Anthony J. Furlan, co-director of the NI at UH and CWRU School of Medicine’s Gilbert Humphrey Professor of Neurology, is Principal Investigator of the Cleveland Foundation grant. Anthony Wynshaw-Boris, Professor and Chair of the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences at CWRU, is the Co- Principal Investigator.
Dr. Furlan said, “The CBHI focuses on autism spectrum disorders; early life brain health education; adolescent sports head injury; protein misfolding; neural regeneration; late life memory disorders including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. CBHI is multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional and was begun in 2012 as the Case Brain Health Collaborative under the direction of the UH Neurological Institute and the CWRU School of Medicine.
The goal is for the CBHI to become a national center of excellence to advance the understanding and treatment of a myriad of brain diseases and disorders that affect nearly 100 million patients in the U.S. alone, from early childhood to adulthood.
The foundation’s grant, the largest gift to date for this project, will support the recruitment of some of our nation’s most promising scientists to Cleveland and the CBHI as junior faculty members.
“Cleveland is already home to some of our nation’s finest brain health researchers and clinicians, and we are proud to support this initiative to connect and magnify this expertise,” said Ronn Richard, president and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation. “We believe this will help establish our city as a destination for brain health treatment and result in enhanced patient care locally and nationally.”
The proposed CBHI will be housed at CWRU School of Medicine, with some research programs that include patient consultations, clinical trials and treatment taking place at the initiative’s affiliate hospitals throughout Cleveland.
“The Brain Health Initiative is emblematic of how Cleveland affords unique opportunities for multi-institutional collaborative efforts which have a major impact on human health in ways not possible from any single institution. University Hospitals and the UH Neurological Institute are proud to have played a central role in the development of the initiative which we will support through our Brain Health and Memory Center, Traumatic Brain Injury Program and numerous other patient focused brain health efforts,” said Daniel Simon, MD, President of University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. “My congratulations to the researchers and physicians involved, especially to Dr. Furlan, Chairman of Neurology at UH and CWRU, who was one of the conceivers of the CBHI and played a central role in developing this collaborative, city-wide effort.”
The Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation last year awarded the initiative a $1 million grant.