DURHAM: Duke awarded $15M for autism, brain disorder treatments - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Duke awarded $15M for autism, brain disorder treatments

Posted: Updated:

Duke Medicine has been awarded $15 million to explore the use of umbilical cord blood cells to treat autism and other brain-related disorders.

The Marcus Foundation, an Atlanta-based philanthropic organization, will fund the first two years of a planned five-year, $41 million project by Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg, chief scientific and medical officer of Duke's Robertson Cell and Translational Therapy Program, and Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D., director of the Duke Center for Autism Diagnosis and Treatment, according to a release issued by Duke Medicine.

Kurtzberg and Dawson hypothesize that cord blood may promote repair of dysfunctional or damaged areas of the brain.

"I am excited about this unprecedented opportunity," said Dr. Victor Dzau, President and CEO of Duke University Health System. "Joanne Kurtzberg has done groundbreaking work on cord blood transplantation at Duke, and Geri Dawson brings an enormous wealth of knowledge and experience of autism," Dzau added.

Kurtzberg and Dawson hope to develop cell-based therapies that can potentially restore brain function in people with the disorders, according to the release. If successful, the study could identify therapies for further evaluation in clinical trials to potentially decrease disabilities.

About 2 million people in the United States suffer from an autism spectrum disorder.

Kurtzberg and Dawson will also explore using umbilical cord blood cells to treat stroke and cerebral palsy.

Strokes kill an average of nearly 130,000 in the U.S. every year, while cerebral palsy currently affects an estimated 764,000 children and young adults.

Families interested in enrolling a child in the study should contact Duke at cordbloodtherapyinfo@dm.duke.edu or (844) 800-CORD or (844) 800-2673.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • American Ebola doc: 'I am thrilled to be alive'

    American Ebola doc: 'I am thrilled to be alive'

    Thursday, August 21 2014 8:32 PM EDT2014-08-22 00:32:40 GMT
    A doctor at the hospital that treated two American aid workers who were infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Africa says their discharge poses no public health risk.
    A doctor at the hospital that treated two American aid workers who were infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Africa says their discharge poses no public health risk.
  • NC Zoo gets polar bear from Chicago temporarily

    NC Zoo gets polar bear from Chicago temporarily

    Thursday, August 21 2014 8:19 PM EDT2014-08-22 00:19:13 GMT
    The North Carolina Zoo is getting another polar bear that will relocate temporarily from Chicago.
    The North Carolina Zoo is getting another polar bear that will relocate temporarily from Chicago.
  • Private school vouchers unconstitutional, NC judge rules

    Private school vouchers unconstitutional, NC judge rules

    Thursday, August 21 2014 7:42 PM EDT2014-08-21 23:42:55 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    More than $720,000 is in limbo after a judge ruled that using taxpayer money to pay for private school vouchers is unconstitutional.
    More than $720,000 is in limbo after a judge ruled that using taxpayer money to pay for private school vouchers is unconstitutional.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Oak Grove Football Team Completes Ice Bucket Challenge

    Oak Grove Football Team Completes Ice Bucket Challenge

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 8:49 PM EDT2014-08-21 00:49:37 GMT
    The Ice Bucket Challenge is a viral movement taking over social media, and spreading ALS awareness across the country.Wednesday it was the Oak Grove football team's turn to take a bath in the sub-freezing temperatures.The Warriors were actually not challenged by any one person, team or institution - it was an idea that originated from offensive line coach and run game coordinator Drew Causey.Head coach Nevil Barr quickly hopped on board."You know ALS is something that we need to find a cure f...
    The Ice Bucket Challenge is a viral movement taking over social media, and spreading ALS awareness across the country.Wednesday it was the Oak Grove football team's turn to take a bath in the sub-freezing temperatures.The Warriors were actually not challenged by any one person, team or institution - it was an idea that originated from offensive line coach and run game coordinator Drew Causey.Head coach Nevil Barr quickly hopped on board."You know ALS is something that we need to find a cure f...
  • Ex-teacher charged with sex crimes

    Ex-teacher charged with sex crimes

    A former St. Patrick High School teacher has been charged with transportation of minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
    A former St. Patrick High School teacher has been charged with transportation of minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
  • SC county arrests 27 in prostitution crack-down

    SC county arrests 27 in prostitution crack-down

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:40 PM EDT2014-07-30 19:40:26 GMT
    8 of the 27 who were arrested... CLICK IN PHOTO GALLERY FOR ALL IMAGES8 of the 27 who were arrested... CLICK IN PHOTO GALLERY FOR ALL IMAGES
    A 3-day prostitution sting in Greenville County ended with 27 arrests.The operation started July 17 and targeted areas including Old Buncombe Road, Whitehorse Road and hotels in the southern portion of the county, according to sheriff’s office.
    A 3-day prostitution sting in Greenville County ended with 27 arrests.The operation started July 17 and targeted areas including Old Buncombe Road, Whitehorse Road and hotels in the southern portion of the county, according to sheriff’s office.
Powered by WorldNow

5912 Hwy. 49, Ste. A
Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Telephone: 601.545.2077
Fax: 601.545.3589
Email: newsroom@whlt.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.