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Spinal Cord Injury: Progress, Promise, and Priorities
surcharge of $5 for traffic violations,4 whereas New Jersey adds a $1 surcharge to any motor vehicle or traffic violation to provide an estimated $3.5 million per year for research and prevention efforts (Personal communication, C. Traynor, New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Research, January 28, 2005).
Some state programs, such as those in Florida, Indiana, and Kentucky, provide funding to specific universities to conduct research on spinal cord injuries. Several states have developed or have contributed to funding extensive research centers in the state, including the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center (see Chapter 8). Other states diversify their funding, as in the case of South Carolina, which supports young investigator grants, career development awards, and clinician-scientist recruitment awards, and Maryland, which supports fellowships and research at private and public facilities. Chapter 8 provides greater detail on these programs.
A number of foundations and other nonprofit organizations explicitly support spinal cord injury research or fund training opportunities and collaborative conferences. Private funds have the advantage of being able to be quickly targeted to specific research efforts and generally have more flexibility than government funding in terms of the types of research and the resources that can be funded.
For example, the Minnesota-based Spinal Cord Society has distributed more than $10 million to spinal cord injury research efforts since 1979 (Spinal Cord Society, 2004); the Wisconsin-based Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation, established in 2001, has provided more than $400,000 to spinal cord injury research, with particular emphases on remyelination, axon regeneration, and drug therapies (Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation, 2002, 2004); and the Paralysis Project of America, established in 1987, provides research support to postdoctoral fellows and senior investigators investigating the pathophysiology of spinal cord injuries and the development of treatments for spinal cord injuries (Paralysis Project of America, 2004). Many other foundations, including the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis and the Geoffrey Lance Foundation for Spinal Cord Injury Research and Support, also actively support spinal cord injury research. The American Spinal Injury Association works to promote standards of excel-
New York State Senate Introducer’s Memorandum in Support of S7287C (1998).