About Our Organization
In 1985, Barth A. Green, M.D. and NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti helped found The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis after Nick’s son, Marc, sustained a spinal cord injury during a college football game. Today, The Miami Project is the world’s most comprehensive spinal cord injury (SCI) research center, and a designated Center of Excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. The Miami Project’s international team is housed in the Lois Pope LIFE Center and includes more than 300 scientists, researchers, clinicians and support staff who take innovative approaches to the challenges of spinal cord and brain injuries. Committed to finding a cure for paralysis resulting from spinal cord injury and to seeing millions worldwide walk again, the Buoniconti family established The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis in 1992, a non-profit organization devoted to assisting The Miami Project achieve its national and international goals.
This is an unbelievable time for The Buoniconti Fund and The Miami Project’s research and for medical history. In late July 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave permission to The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis to begin a revolutionary Phase 1 clinical trial to evaluate the safety of transplanting human Schwann cells in patients with acute (recent) spinal cord injuries. Found mainly in the peripheral nervous system, Schwann cells are essential to sending appropriate electrical signals through the nervous system, and Miami Project scientists and supporters believe they are key to finding cures for paralysis. The Miami Project Physicians and researchers have enrolled the first participants in this Phase 1 clinical trial, part of the Christine E. Lynn Clinical Trials Initiative at The Miami Project. These first participants are doing well and the team is moving forward with the trial. In parallel to this acute study, The Miami Project has begun a human Schwann cell transplantation clinical trial in chronically injured individuals to test the safety of human Schwann cells. There are millions of people living with chronic spinal cord injury paralysis (those paralyzed for a year or more) that will benefit from this experimental procedure. Never in the history of spinal cord injury research have the prospects of finding a cure for paralysis been better.