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Igniting research

WSU’s Steve Gleason Institute for Neuroscience is designed to ignite new research and clinical applications to improve neurodegenerative health. We strive to uphold the exchange of ideas and collaboration among students, fellows, faculty and scientists.

Seed Grants

In keeping with our mission, the Institute awarded the following seed grants for neurodegenerative disease research. 

Assessment of endocannabinoids in cerebrospinal fluid of patients with ALS for development of an early detection biomarker 

PI: Travis Denton, WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Collaborators: Gang Chen, WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Greg Carter & Doug Weeks, St. Luke’s Medical Rehabilitation Center
Award Amount: $45,383
The goal of this collaborative project with Providence St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Medical Center is to identify biomarkers of ALS in cerebral spinal fluid to speed up the diagnosis of the disease, extend the treatment period, and potentially lengthen the survival of individuals with ALS.

A new innovative adaptive technology to improve bowel function and continence in individuals with neurodegenerative disease 

PI: Glen House & Greg Carter, St. Luke’s Medical Rehabilitation Center
Collaborators: Will Clegern & Dominic Brenner, WSU Spokane Office of Research
Award Amount: $21,780
The St. Luke’s team will collaborate with WSU Spokane research service center staff to develop a medical device that will help individuals with neurodegenerative diseases who are impacted by abnormal bowel function. This novel technology will have the potential to improve the quality of life of individuals with neurodegenerative disease and their caregivers.

Quantification of neck neuromuscular function in people with ALS 

PI: Anita Vasavada, WSU Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture
Collaborators: Caitlin Shino, Doug Weeks, Greg Carter & Ross Bogey, St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Medical Center 
Award Amount: $50,000
Led by a team of investigators from WSU and Providence St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Medical Center, this study will objectively measure neck strength and muscle activity in people with ALS, an understudied area that will yield new knowledge that could be used to improve assistive technologies such as head-controlled wheelchairs.

Neuroprotective role of sleep and nicotinamide substrates 

PI: Jonathan Wisor, WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
Collaborators: Kit Hayworth, WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine; Travis Denton & Gang Chen, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Award Amount: $46,443
This study will test the hypothesis that sleep reverses oxidative stress in the brain through a process that relies on nicotinamide, a form of vitamin B3. A joint effort between researchers in the Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the study will help determine the feasibility of nicotinamide supplementation as a way to reduce brain oxidative stress and protect against neurodegenerative disease.