National Center of Neuromodulation for Rehabilitation Awards Pilot Project Grants

Contact: Heather Woolwine

Sept 28, 2016

CHARLESTON, SC – The National Center of Neuromodulation for Rehabilitation (NC NM4R) at the Medical University of South Carolina’s College of Health Professions (CHP) has awarded five grants for pilot projects regarding neuromodulation for rehabilitation. 

Neuromodulation rehabilitation is a promising therapeutic approach for patients suffering from stroke, ADHD, depression, narcolepsy and dementia from Alzheimer's disease. It can also involve stimulation or direct administration of medications to the body’s nervous system for therapeutic approaches to pain control and neurological dysfunction by treating movement disorders, conditions such as spasticity and epilepsy, as well as pain syndromes. This approach has also seen promising results regarding spinal cord stimulation post-injury, disrupting pain signals from the spinal cord to the brain and converting them into more manageable sensations such as tingling. 

Given the breadth and depth neuromodulation rehabilitation can provide in treating very different disease processes, neuromodulation approaches offer clinicians the opportunity to customize a patient’s rehab strategy. Customization offers patients a greater chance of reducing disability and improving neurological outcomes, particularly in stroke patients. 

“The research center provides a great opportunity for MUSC to share its expertise in neuro-stimulation with the broader research community in order to promote functional outcomes for people with disabilities,” said Ralph Nitkin, Ph.D., deputy director of the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research and director of the Biological Sciences and Career Development Program in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. “The center has extensive expertise on the substrates of brain and spinal cord neuroplasticity, therapeutic treatment approaches and non-invasive techniques for promoting therapeutic changes. The current round of pilot grants demonstrates their commitment to collaborating with promising researchers from around the US to support these clinical opportunities.”

The following projects were chosen for funding: 

  • Andrew Goldfine, M.D.
    Stony Brook University, Neurology
    “Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) in Chronic Post-Stroke Apathy”
  • Emily Grattan, Ph.D., OTR/L
    Medical University of South Carolina, Health Science & Research
    “Examining The Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and Task Specific Practice On Cortical Modulation Among Individuals with Unilateral Neglect Post Stroke” 
  • Jane Joseph, Ph.D.
    Medical University of South Carolina, Neurosciences
    “Learning Enhancement Through NeuroStimulation” (LENS)
  • Gerwin Schalk, Ph.D.
    Wadsworth Center/ NYS Department of Health, National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies
    “First Step in Creating a Reflex Conditioning System for Clinical Use”
  • Amit Sethi, Ph.D., OTR/L
    University of Pittsburgh, Occupational Therapy
    “Combined Non-Invasive Transcranial Random Noise Current Stimulation and Functional Electrical Stimulation to Improve Hand Movement in Individuals with Moderate-To-Severe Impairments After Chronic Stroke”

For more information about these pilot projects, visit National Center of Neuromodulation . The next call for pilot projects will begin Oct 1, 2016. For questions about membership, please contact Anthony Jones at 843-792-6697 or

About NC NM4R 

The National Center for Neuromodulation for Rehabilitation (NC NM4R) is an infrastructure grant resource center funded by National Institutes of Health (NICHD/NCMRR). The Center has many opportunities for people interested in neuromodulation. Our home is the College of Health Professions at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). The goal of this new center is to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field of NM4R. We seek to fulfill that goal through translational activities and programming to: train researchers in NM4R through workshops, advanced hands on training, consultations with MUSC laboratories and mentorship in research skills and grantsmanship; provide scientific programming in NM4R through webinars, national/international 

conference sessions, and specialized NM4R conferences; develop a research community in NM4R by being an active catalyst to coalesce an interactive community that shares ideas, collaborates extensively, and contributes to setting future goals for the field; advance the field of NM4R by (A) sponsoring a focused technical development program that will define material for promulgation in the workshops and other forums and continue to develop and advance NM4R methods, particularly those needed in critical translational studies, and (B) offering peer-reviewed pilot projects utilizing human and/or animal models. The NC NM4R is supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under award number P2CHD086844. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

About MUSC

Founded in 1824, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) continues the tradition of excellence in education, research and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and nearly 800 residents in six colleges and has more than 17,000 employees. As the state’s only integrated academic health sciences center and largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $3.2 billion, with an annual economic impact of nearly $4 billion and annual research funding in excess of $284 million.

As the clinical health system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality patient care available, while training generations of competent, compassionate health care providers to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Comprising some 1,600 beds, more than 100 outreach sites, the MUSC College of Medicine, the physicians’ practice plan, and nearly 275 telehealth locations, MUSC Health owns and operates eight hospitals situated in Charleston, Chester, Florence, Lancaster and Marion counties. In 2019, for the fifth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina.