DURHAM: Duke awarded $15M for autism, brain disorder treatments - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

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.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • VIDEO: Intense gator battle at Odessa golf course

    VIDEO: Intense gator battle at Odessa golf course

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:56 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:56:27 GMT
    YouTube imageYouTube image
    An amazing video of two big gators locked in an intense fight might have you wondering how something so dangerous could happen at a golf course. A golfer shot the video using a cell phone
    An amazing video of two big gators locked in an intense fight might have you wondering how something so dangerous could happen at a golf course. A golfer shot the video using a cell phone
  • Birmingham man's penis amputated during circumcision, according to Jefferson County lawsuit

    Birmingham man's penis amputated during circumcision, according to Jefferson County lawsuit

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:39 PM EDT2014-07-24 23:39:17 GMT
    The man says he was not warned that a circumcision procedure could lead to a penis amputation.
    The man says he was not warned that a circumcision procedure could lead to a penis amputation.
  • Ice Cream That Doesn't Melt

    Ice Cream That Doesn't Melt

    Mom shocked after son leaves his ice cream sandwich in the heat for 12 hours and it does not melt.We are definitely seeing the type of weather where you want ice cream, but how would you feel about eating one that didn't melt? Well, a mom from Cincinnati gave her ice cream sandwiches from Walmart. She says one of them was left uneaten, outside in the heat, and it barely melted. Christie Watson says she was confused. She says the ice cream sandwich retained its shape and consistency for hours...
    Mom shocked after son leaves his ice cream sandwich in the heat for 12 hours and it does not melt.We are definitely seeing the type of weather where you want ice cream, but how would you feel about eating one that didn't melt? Well, a mom from Cincinnati gave her ice cream sandwiches from Walmart. She says one of them was left uneaten, outside in the heat, and it barely melted. Christie Watson says she was confused. She says the ice cream sandwich retained its shape and consistency for hours...
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 2 charged with first-degree murder in beating death of UNC professor, cancer researcher

    2 charged with first-degree murder in beating death of UNC professor, cancer researcher

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:00 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:00:14 GMT
    A UNC research professor was robbed and beaten to death Wednesday afternoon on University Drive in Chapel Hill, police said.
    A UNC research professor was robbed and beaten to death Wednesday afternoon on University Drive in Chapel Hill, police said.
  • Twitter pages show NC college binge drinkers passed out

    Twitter pages show NC college binge drinkers passed out

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:03 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:03:40 GMT
    Binge drinking is not a new problem on college campuses but there is a new way people are seeing its impact.Twitter pages are popping up at college campus around the country for the sole purpose of showing students passed out from drinking too much.
    Binge drinking is not a new problem on college campuses but there is a new way people are seeing its impact.Twitter pages are popping up at college campus around the country for the sole purpose of showing students passed out from drinking too much.
  • Woman impales herself on cemetery fence; says she was running from attacker

    Woman impales herself on cemetery fence; says she was running from attacker

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 2:53 PM EDT2014-07-23 18:53:18 GMT
    A woman claims she was running from an attacker and tried to jump a five foot fence when she became impaled. Firefighters had to use power saws and a grinding saw to cut her free, all while she was conscious. After 30 minutes she was transported to an area hospital for surgery to remove the spike sticking out of her thigh. It happened at Vine Cemetery in Hazleton. She said the nearest gate was locked. Witnesses backed...
    A woman claims she was running from an attacker and tried to jump a five foot fence when she became impaled. Firefighters had to use power saws and a grinding saw to cut her free, all while she was conscious. After 30 minutes she was transported to an area hospital for surgery to remove the spike sticking out of her thigh. It happened at Vine Cemetery in Hazleton. She said the nearest gate was locked. Witnesses backed...
Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

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