The Stepping Strong Center is deeply committed to catalyzing multidisciplinary collaborations that inspire groundbreaking innovation, effective prevention, and compassionate intervention to transform care for civilians and military heroes who endure traumatic injuries and events. Given the center’s laser focus on accelerating trauma research and funding multidisciplinary projects that advance the center’s mission and vision, it was with great pride that we hosted the 4th Annual Stepping Strong Trauma Research and Innovation Symposium on November 18, 2021.
In addition to featuring three panels highlighting the breadth and depth of innovation in the continuum of trauma care, the program included a fascinating keynote speech on complex tissue regeneration by Cato T. Laurencin, MD, PhD; remarks by Medical Directors Ali Salim, MD, and Mitchell Harris, MD; a moving speech by Stepping Strong founder and board chair Audrey Epstein Reny; and the announcement of the 2021-22 Innovator and Breakthrough Award recipients.
Innovator Award Recipients
The Stepping Strong Center funds high-reward projects by the best, most creative and collaborative physicians, bioengineers, and bench researchers working to transform trauma care. This year, in partnership with members of the Stepping Strong Medical Executive Committee and experts from neighboring academic medical centers, the Stepping Strong leadership team evaluated dozens of multidisciplinary, multi-institutional Innovator Award applications spanning basic science, clinical innovation, injury prevention, civilian-military translation, and care of blast-related injuries. Following a rigorous six-month process, reviewers selected four extraordinary research teams that will each receive $100,000 grants starting on January 1, 2022.
The winners are:
- Justin Brown, MD: Traction neurogenesis for overcoming large nerve gaps
- Jenna Galloway, PhD: Harnessing single cell RNA-sequencing technology for tendon regenerative medicine strategies
- Peter T. Masiakos, MD, MS, and Cornelia Griggs, MD: Developing and evaluating an avatar/virtual reality-based gun violence prevention training program for clinicians
- Nakul Raykar, MD: Civilian walking blood banks for hemorrhagic shock when stored blood is unavailable
Breakthrough Award Recipients
Ranging from $150,000 to $500,000, Stepping Strong Breakthrough Awards are granted to previous Innovator Award recipients who seek additional support to advance their projects to the next level. Evaluation criteria includes accomplishments to date, clear results of previously awarded grants, scientific efficacy, and the potential to impact patient care. As with the Innovator Award review process, a cohort of experts scored proposals, placing a high value on multidisciplinary projects and multi-institutional collaborations.
Congratulations to the winning team:
- Marc Wein, MD, PhD, Natalie Artzi, PhD, and Ara Nazarian, DrSc: Stimulating fracture healing by blocking salt inducible kinase
The Stepping Strong Center is completely funded by philanthropy. We welcome your partnership and support. Click here to make a donation of any amount.