Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation gives $500,000 for research at Marquette

Will support gene therapy research

Bryon Riesch

The Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation of Waukesha is giving $500,000 to Marquette University’s College of Health Sciences to support spinal cord injury research.

Bryon Riesch

The foundation was formed by Marquette alumnus Bryon Riesch, who was paralyzed in an accident nearly 20 years ago while an undergraduate student at the university.

The gift will fund the research primarily of Murray Blackmore, associate professor of biomedical sciences and a prominent spinal cord injury neuroscience researcher. Blackmore’s research focuses on the use of gene therapy to treat brain cells damaged in spinal cord injuries, leading to nerve growth and regeneration at the injury site. The therapy can reverse some of the paralysis, leading to regained movement and motor control.

“Bryon is a great friend and collaborator, and he understands the importance this kind of funding has to lead to breakthroughs,” Blackmore said. “My team and I are very grateful to Bryon and to the Foundation for helping us continue our work for years to come.”

Blackmore previously received $50,000 annually in seed funding from the Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation that helped in part to lead to multiple research grants from the National Institutes of Health, totaling nearly $4 million in funding.

“We’re very proud to have a long history and tradition of collaboration with the College of Health Sciences and specifically with Dr. Blackmore,” Riesch said. “To see the strides he’s made in research since we’ve known each other, it just made sense to make this investment in his lab, his team and his work.”

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