Pitt Receives $300,000 NFL Grant for Concussion Research

Grant will fund a joint effort by UPMC and Pitt to assess the ability of new brain imaging technology to track concussions and recoveries.


NFL, GE grant $300k to Pitt, UPMC for concussion, brain imaging technology research
The University of Pittsburgh’s groundbreaking brain studies are getting a boost from the support of the NFL and GE, according to UPMC. One of the first Head Health Initiative Grants of $300,000 from the NFL and GE will be awarded for a joint effort by UPMC and Pitt to assess the ability of new brain imaging technology to track concussions and recoveries. The research is intended to help concussed athletes safely return to their games. The project was one of 16 grant winners from among 402 global applicants.

According to UPMC’s statement, the High Definition Fiber Tracking uses advanced MRI technology to exceed the ability of standard brain imaging and track the billions of neural connections that exist in the brain’s 40 major fiber tracts. The project will study at least 50 athletes age 13-28 within seven days of being admitted to the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program after suffering head injuries. The grant agreement also will allow the program to apply for additional funding during the program’s first six months.

— John Lavanga, PM Editorial Intern

RMU, Zipcar start partnership for affordable transportation
College transportation met affordability when Robert Morris University recently launched a new partnership with Zipcar, Inc., on its Moon Township campus. Now students, faculty and staff members age 18 and older can get going with the 24-7 car-sharing program. And a community bonus: Locals age 21 and over can use the service, too. RMU student organizations now are eligible for Zipcar and Ford’s “Students with Drive” grant program through April; the grand prize includes $5,000 in Zipcar driving credit, $10,000 toward the winning organization’s mission and $10,000 to its school.

Two Zipcars are available in a lot near the campus’ Gazebo Parking; each can be reserved or used on demand. There’s a membership rate of $25 for RMU affiliates before all-inclusive (insurance, gas, parking and 180 miles per day) daily rates apply: $7.50 per hour or $77 per day for "Nelson" the Ford Focus Hatchback and $8.50 per hour or $83 per day for "Alfred" the four-wheel-drive Ford Escape.

Fun Fact: Zipcars "Nelson" and "Alfred" are reportedly named for presidential horses that belonged to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, respectively.

— Krystal Hare, PM Fact-Checker

Consider these three arts- and science-centric events for your next university trip in the Pittsburgh region.

Grove City College, Pew Fine Arts Center
Feb. 21-22 at 7:30 p.m.; free
Directed by professor Betsy Craig, John Logan’s Tony Award-winning “Red” takes the stage at GCC, following the work of expressionist painter Mark Rothko and his assistant as they complete their mural commission of New York City’s famous Four Seasons Restaurant.

Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m.; free
The GCC Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra will present their Winter Concert, featuring the winners of the fall Concerto Competition, trumpeter James Allison and violinist Juliana Stewart

Duquesne University, Power Center Ballroom
Feb. 26 at 7 p.m.; free
This year’s Darwin Day lecture will focus on time travel as Michigan State University’s Hannah Distinguished professor and evolutionary biologist Richard. E. Lenski presents “Time Travel in Experimental Evolution.” A reception follows this event.
— K.H.

Categories: Great Minds