The SNIS Foundation recognised its first Seed Grant awardee with US$25,000 to fund a translational research project. The first award since the Foundation’s inception in 2011, the gift was presented at the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS) 11th Annual Meeting in Colorado Springs, USA.
Representing physicians who specialise in neurointerventional approaches to neurovascular conditions, SNIS formed the SNIS Foundation, in part, to ensure investment in scientific research and discovery that enables practitioners to provide the highest level of care to patients who can benefit from neurointerventional treatment. The Seed Grant is a one-year gift that enables young investigators to conduct pilot projects that address a specific hypothesis and generate preliminary data in preparation for major grant applications to corporations, foundations and governmental agencies.
The first recipient, Daniel Cooke, assistant professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at the University of California, San Francisco, USA, was awarded the grant for his innovative work in facilitating first-time evaluation of endothelial cells harvested from devices utilised in neurointerventional procedures to treat ruptured and unruptured aneurysms. By obtaining these tissue samples during a standard procedure, and analysing genetic expression at the single cell level, Cooke and his team aim to advance neurointervention by utilising their study of endothelial cells to offer insights into the mechanisms of aneurysm formation, evolution, and in some cases, rupture.
“This is exciting and innovative work worthy of continued exploration and support from the SNIS Foundation,” says Lee Jensen, professor of Radiology, Neurology and Neurological Surgery at University of Virginia Health System and chair of the SNIS Foundation. “The applications for the first SNIS Foundation Seed Grant were very strong, but Cooke’s work stood out as the kind of research that could have meaningful implications for our overall approach to neurointerventional aneurysm treatment.”
All Seed Grant proposals were reviewed and ranked by a multi-disciplinary panel, including interventional neuroradiologists, endovascular neurosurgeons, and interventional neurologists. For this first award, it is noteworthy that the chosen grant was the top choice of all panellists.
Three additional grants are expected to be awarded in the next six months. The SNIS Foundation will fund these and future grants with private donations as well as select fundraisers sponsored by the Foundation.
“After three years of growing the Foundation, it is exciting to realise our goal of funding meaningful research work that aligns with our overall mission,” says Jensen. “This is a milestone moment in the life of the SNIS Foundation and SNIS, and instrumental to the growth of our neurointerventional specialty.”