As announcedby President Obama last week, this single largest gift from an individual to a medical center for a concussion-related initiative will enable Dr Christopher Giza’s BrainSPORT Program at UCLA to establish the world’s most sophisticated research, prevention, diagnosis and treatment program for concussions and brain injuries, with a particular emphasis on young athletes.
Philanthropist Steve Tisch, co-owner of the New York Giants and an Academy Award–winning film producer, has pledged $10 million to the department of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA for the BrainSPORT Program (renamed the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program). “As the father of children who are athletes, and as an NFL owner, I greatly value the positive role that sports play in people’s lives and am personally concerned about sports concussions,” said Tisch. “UCLA runs one of the best youth concussion programs in the nation, and I’m honored that my gift will allow the program to accelerate and expand its efforts to help kids, parents and coaches understand how to prevent and treat concussions and enjoy the sports that they love.”
The Program was founded in 2012 by UCLA’s Dr. Christopher Giza, who is scheduled to participate in the White House briefing. Integrating the expertise of clinicians and scientists at the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center and in pediatric neurology, neuropsychology and sports medicine, the program provides research-based treatment for sports concussions in school-age to professional athletes. Dr Giza’s first award was from the Child Neurology Foundation in 2007:
It is hard to find a component of my current academic situation that doesn’t originate in some way back to the critical funding from the CNF Shields Award from 2007-2009. This award allowed me the freedom, as a young investigator, to continue to pursue the difficult and often problematic direction of truly translational bench-to-bedside research.” – Dr. Giza
“Mr. Tisch’s generous gift will be an enormous game-changer, enabling us to create diagnostic tools customized to younger athletes,” said Giza, who is a professor of neurosurgery and pediatric neurology at the Geffen School of Medicine and Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA. “Currently, young athletes are assessed with adult tests — but kids aren’t little adults. With the right diagnosis and personalized care, kids can recover completely from concussion.”
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Portions used with thanks from the UCLA Office of Media Relations.