Previously Funded Project, Griffith University

$5.1M funding injection from MAIC (Motor Accident Insurance Commission)

Working WithGriffith University
Lead ResearcherProf James St John
PCSRF funding period2016 - 2019
Total Funds Committed$5,000,000

In 2016, with the lobbying of the Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation, the Motor Accident Insurance Commission donated $5.1M to support the Spinal Injury Project team at Griffith University. This funding supported the SIP team for three years.

The Motor Accident Insurance Commission strongly supported the development of the olfactory cell transplantation therapy. This investment enabled the team to focus their efforts on three major aspects of the therapy:

1. Improving the cell purification and production process
2. Creating three-dimensional (3D) olfactory cell products for transplantation
3. Testing the products in preclinical models of spinal cord injury.

With the increased funding, the Spinal Injury Project was able to rapidly expand and attracted numerous researchers with diverse skills. Diversity is key to success as it enables the team to simultaneously work on multiple aspects at the same time. For example, sub-teams were created for cell production, cell activation, surgery, microscopy, and molecular analyses. This helped to fast-track the research and test numerous different therapeutic options at the same time.

With the large team, the Spinal Injury Project was able to improve the production of 3D cell products and they generated the early nerve bridges which were tested in preclinical models of spinal cord injury. These animal models demonstrated that the improved transplantation method led to better functional outcomes.

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