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Home > Research > Research Interests



The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis is a unique research center for many reasons, but probably one of the most important reasons is the leveraging power made possible by all of the donors to The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis.

In today’s world of grant funding, the pool of applicants is increasing while the pot of available funds is remaining level or, in some cases, decreasing or disappearing altogether.  Hence, in order for grant applications to be competitive, preliminary data regarding the research questions being tested need to be included to show the likelihood of success if funded.  However, that creates a situation similar to “having the cart before the horse”.  How is one supposed to generate data without funds to conduct the experiments?  That is where philanthropy becomes critically important and The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis has been instrumental in making possible significant scientific advances in the field of spinal cord injury.  

All of the private funds that have been generously donated to The Miami Project via The Buoniconti Fund over the last 25 years have enabled our researchers to generate the crucial preliminary data necessary to be awarded larger grants to further enhance our understanding of trauma to the nervous system and work towards developing effective therapeutic interventions.  The ability to purchase supplies for experiments and support personnel to conduct the experiments, without fear of interruption between grants, is critical to the success of The Miami Project in carrying out its mission.

At this 25 year landmark, we’d like to highlight how this some of this seed money from many generous donors has been used to leverage additional, large sources of funding and has been critical to advancing the scientific understanding of spinal cord injury.


Another very productive line of research at The Miami Project has been addressing the effects of exercise on strength, endurance, and cardiovascular health in people living with spinal cord injury.  Dr. Mark Nash has been a faculty member of the Miami Project since its founding. 


During early years of the Miami Project private donations contributed to his development of a circuit resistance training program for the upper extremities of persons with spinal cord injury, which was proven to be safe and effective at improving attributes of fitness and reducing risks for all-cause cardiovascular disease. 


These initial studies have led to numerous publications and provided data used to support 13 competitively awarded grants investigating both early cardio-endocrine disease and the effects of circuit resistance training on many secondary conditions associated with spinal cord injury, including fat metabolism and risk for heart disease, sugar metabolism and risk for diabetes, obesity, and premature aging.

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