New Jersey Health Foundation Award 3 Grams

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Credit: New Jersey Health Foundation/Kessler Foundation

East Hanover, New Jersey. July 20, 2022. Each year, the New Jersey Health Foundation (NJHF) grants grants to research projects that demonstrate exciting potential to help scientists leverage preliminary findings to qualify for additional funding to advance their research. We are accepting applications for This year, three of her researchers from the Kessler Foundation were awarded grants.

Dr. Pei (Peggy) ChengSenior Research Fellow, Stroke Rehabilitation Research Center, She received a one-year, $35,000 award for her project that uses mixed reality technology to improve safety while navigating. Dr. Chen develops an assistance program (her SafeNav app powered by a Microsoft HoloLens device) to address the high risk of falls in seniors and stroke survivors. The purpose of this study is to determine the provisional effectiveness of her SafeNav app on walking safety in healthy elderly populations and stroke survivors with and without spatial neglect.

“Older people with reduced motor and cognitive skills are at risk of falls when walking. In addition to old age, stroke is also a risk factor for falls,” says Dr. Cheng. “Furthermore, right-brain injuries were associated with a higher fall risk than left-brain injuries, suggesting a higher prevalence of spatial neglect after right-sided strokes (38%) than left-sided strokes (18%). It could be related to being high,” she concludes. .

Dr. Peter Balance Senior Research Fellow, Mobility and Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center, received a one-year award of $35,000 for his project evaluating a robotic knee exoskeleton for people with osteoarthritis of the knee (OA). Robotic exoskeletons worn over or under clothing have emerged as effective assistive devices to improve mobility in people with neurological disorders such as stroke and spinal cord injury, but not in people with knee OA. has not been extensively tested.

Dr. Barrance found that walking with a lightweight and compliant robotic knee exoskeleton developed in co-principal investigator Dr. Hao Su’s lab reduced the load on the knee during walking (from one side of the joint to the other). It is hypothesized that pressure is transmitted to the For people with knee OA. “Currently, treatment for knee OA includes physical therapy, pain medication, and total knee replacement surgery. It may reduce pain in people with diabetes,” explains Dr. Barrance.

Dr. Eric Hammer, PhD, doctor student Mobility and Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center, He received a one-year award of $35,000 for his project to develop and evaluate a phase-specific circulatory feedback intervention system in childhood cerebral palsy.

Visual feedback, such as information displayed on a screen, is often used during activities to enhance the benefits obtained from rehabilitation exercises. Visual feedback during walking has been investigated in pediatric cerebral palsy, but information regarding its use during stationary cycling is limited. Dr. Hammer’s research focuses on phase-specific cycling his visual his feedback his system that can be used to balance the way people with cerebral palsy pedal and enhance the benefits they derive from rehabilitation exercises. increase.

Participants cycled first without feedback and then with visual feedback to see how hard they pushed and pulled the pedals, and how hard they pushed each side. According to Dr. Hammer, “The goal of the feedback system is to help participants push rather than pull while pedaling. The measurements show participants’ muscle and brain activity, which changes with visual feedback.”

Funding: New Jersey Health Foundation (grant PC 32-22, PC 9-22, PC 31-22)

About the New Jersey Health Foundation
The New Jersey Health Foundation (NJHF) promotes health-related research in New Jersey by providing student STEM grants, research grants, innovation grants, and venture funding to increase interest in STEM-related careers. and committed to helping start-up companies develop. We develop ideas from the research project stage to commercialization. The NJHF grant program supports some of the funding for community health, social services issues, and education projects, as well as exciting research projects in the very early stages of development. As a non-profit organization, NJHF’s mission is to advance health innovations for the benefit of society. Funding provided by the NJHF is essential to advancing ideas with great potential to positively impact human health and patients around the world. For more information, visit

About the Kessler Foundation
The Kessler Foundation, a leading non-profit organization in the disability field, is a global leader in rehabilitation research, driving long-term outcomes including cognition, mobility, and employment for people with neurological impairment caused by illness or injury. We aim to improve. brain and spinal cord. The Kessler Foundation is a national leader in funding innovative programs that expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities. For more information, visit

For information or interviews with research scientists, please contact:
Deb Hauss, Senior Staff Writer, 973.324.8372, [email protected]
Carolann Murphy, Senior Medical Writer, [email protected]

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