Penn Joins CARE Grand Alliance Clinical Study Core

PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania is proud to announce that it has been invited to join the Concussion Assessment, Research and Education Consortium (CARE) Grand Alliance Clinical Study Core. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) will also participate in the effort.

Originally begun in the summer of 2014 as a collaborative between the NCAA and the United States Department of Defense (DoD), Penn’s participation in this program will begin the summer of 2016. Penn’s selection -- along with eight other institutions -- has come following an extensive vetting process by CARE, after 172 NCAA institutions across all three divisions expressed interest in participating.

All student-athletes at each of the participating institutions receive a comprehensive preseason evaluation for concussion and will be monitored in the event of an injury.Data collected at each school are evaluated by a team of researchers led by Steven Broglio, director of the University of Michigan’s NeuroTrauma Research Laboratory; Michael McCrea, director of brain injury research at the Medical College of Wisconsin; and Tom McAllister, chair of the Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry.

The researchers have collected more than 25 million data points from 16,000 student-athletes at the 21 institutions already participating. After adding nine new testing sites, researchers estimate that more than 25,000 student-athletes will take part over the course of the three-year study.

“Being selected as a site for theNCAA-DoD Grand Alliance Concussion Study, as a member of the CARE Consortium Clinical Study Core, is a true testament of what the University of Pennsylvania represents,” said Eric Laudano, who serves as the Associate Athletic Director for Sports Performance/Head Athletic Trainer for Penn Athletics. “The ability for Penn Athletics, Penn Sports Medicine, Student Health Service, and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) medical personnel to come together as strong synergistic colleagues across divisions and make a difference in the lives of our student-athletes, while also being national leaders on the important topic of concussions, is what makes Penn the paragon of health-care collaboration. This is the truest example of ongoing medical relationships being built and working in unison to make this opportunity possible.”

“We are delighted Penn has been selected for theNCAA-DoD Grand Alliance Clinical Study Core,” said Dr. M. Grace Calhoun, Penn’s Director of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics. “This truly highlights the extraordinary collaboration between Penn Athletics, Penn Sports Medicine, CHOP, and Penn Student Health Service, and also highlights the research mission of our University scientific community. Through our valued partnership with Penn Medicine, and with our athletics staff in Penn Sports Performance, we feel we are best positioned to deliver on our commitment for Penn Athletics to be a national leader in student-athlete wellness and injury prevention.”

“Our Minds Matter Concussion Program at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has learned a tremendous amount about concussions in student-athletesover the last five years through collaborative efforts between CHOP Sports Medicine and Performance Center and our Center for Injury Research and Prevention,” said Dr. Christina Master, a sports medicine pediatrician at CHOP and associate professor of Clinical Pediatrics in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.“We look forward to extending this knowledge in collaboration with our colleagues at Penn as we contribute to this important and historic national initiative bythe NCAA.”

“Clinically, SHS has been addressing concussion in college populations for many years, thanks to the expertise of our primary care sports medicine providers,” said Dr. Giang Nguyen, Executive Director of the University of Pennsylvania Student Health Service. “We are thrilled now to be contributing to the scientific inquiry surrounding this important topic.”

The research for the NCAA-DoD Grand Alliance is managed by CARE and co-chaired by principal investigators at three research institutions:

*Indiana University is the Administrative and Operations Core and the central coordination center for the CARE Consortium. Led by Thomas W. McAllister, M.D., chair of the IU School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, Indiana will provide fiduciary oversight as well as data and analysis management, bioinformatics, biospecimen, and clinical trial support resources for the Consortium.

*The University of Michigan leads the Longitudinal Clinical Study Core, a prospective, multi-institution clinical research protocol whose aim is to study the natural history of concussion among NCAA student-athletes. This investigation is the largest ever of its type. Steven Broglio, Ph.D., ATC, associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the NeuroSport Research Laboratory, leads the effort.

*The Medical College of Wisconsin directs the Advanced Research Core. Led by Dr. Michael McCrea, Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of Brain Injury Research at MCW, this effort includes cutting-edge studies that incorporate head impact sensor technologies, advanced neuroimaging, biological markers and detailed clinical studies to examine the acute effects and early pattern of recovery from sport-related concussion. Ultimately, the work is designed to more fully inform a comprehensive understanding of sport-related concussion and traumatic brain injury.

The consortium’s work expands upon the NCAA National Sport Concussion Outcomes Study, an existing multi-site, longitudinal investigation of concussive and repetitive head impacts in NCAA student-athletes. The Advanced Research Core also leverages existing collaborative research networks, such as the National Institutes of Health TRACK-TBI and the DoD’s Project Head to Head.

Download: Penn_NCAA_DoD_FINAL.pdf