Over the years, donors, riders, walkers, volunteers, and sponsors of the Pedal with Pete Foundation have raised over one million dollars to fund promising clinical research through our grants to research centers around the world, including Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio and the Case Western University in cooperation with the Cleveland Clinic.  See our list of previous grant recipients for a complete list of grants we’ve funded since the 1990’s to now.

Each spring the Foundation receives a number of research proposals from the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM). These proposals are reviewed by the Foundation’s Cerebral Palsy Research Team, who make a recommendation to the Foundation’s Board of Directors of which projects to fund. The final decision about which projects to fund is made by the Board in June or July. Each of the projects are funded at a level between $25,000 and $35,000. Most of these research projects are seed research projects which typically lead to followup projects for further research. Such funding is scarce yet critical to the research process. A sumary of the results of prior research projects funded through the AACPDM can be reviewed by clicking on the following link: Summary of Prior AACPDM Funded Research.

Thanks to your support the Pedal with Pete Foundation is recognized internationally as a discerning, consistent funder for this important phase of cerebral palsy research.

In our most recent grant-making cycle (see our grant process for details), we were able to make grants for these three worthy research projects:

2019, July | MicroRNAs in Magnesium-Mediated Neuroprotection (AACPDM)  Maria Dizon, MD, Principal Investigator and Ann & Robert H. Lurie | Children’s Hospital of Chicago

Research ObservationWhy is this Research Important?
Preterm babies are at greater risk for cerebral palsy. Administration of magnesium sulfate has a preventative effect on preterm labor. Magnesium affects production of microRNAs which are critical for the development of the cells that make myelin/white matter in the brain.If patients with or at risk for cerebral palsy have different microRNAs than healthy individuals, microRNAs could be used for early detection. Knowing the difference in microRNAs between healthy and afflicted patients could allow treatment with microRNAs that promote myelin/white matter development.
Research Questions
• What microRNAs are found in prematurely born babies?
• Are the kinds of microRNAs found in premature babies, who later develop cerebral palsy, different from those who do not develop this disease?
• Are the microRNAs different in premature babies whose mothers were given magnesium sulfate?

2019, July | Use of Collagenase Clostridium Histolyticum to Decrease Muscle Fibre Bundle Stiffness in Cerebral Palsy (AACPDM)
Jason J. Howard, MD | Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children

Research ObservationWhy is this Research Important?
Muscle stiffness in cerebral palsy has been associated with an increase in collagen in the space between muscle cells.If collagenase injections reduce stiffness, the need for surgical intervention to achieve the same outcome may be reduced.
Research Questions
• Can injections of collagenase reduce the amount of muscle stiffness?

2019, July | Reversal of Aged Muscle Stem Cell Dysfunction in Contractured Muscle from Cerebral Palsy (AACPDM)
Andrea Domenighetti, MD, Principal Investigator | Shirley Ryan Ability Lab

Research ObservationWhy is this Research Important?
Muscle cells in patients with cerebral palsy age prematurely.Many treatments for cerebral palsy rely on exercise and surgery. This research approach could reveal a new treatment option with a drug that may reverse some of the effects of cerebral palsy.
Research Questions
• Is the DNA in these muscle cells modified and is that the cause of aging?
• If the DNA is modified, can the drug 5-azacytidine be repurposed to reverse the aging, therefore encouraging muscle growth?

All this research you fund helps kick off ground-breaking work that can lead to treatments and quality-of-life changes that allow children and adults with CP to better reach their full potential. Thank you so much for your support!