Baltimore-based Kennedy Krieger Institute, which provides a wide range of services for children and young adults with disorders and injuries of the brain, spinal cord, and musculoskeletal system, has tapped Amy J. Bastian, PhD, as its first chief science officer, according to a news release from Kennedy Krieger Institute. Bastian, a physical therapist and professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins, also serves as director of Kennedy Krieger’s Motion Analysis Lab.

As chief science officer, she will be tasked with identifying new directions and opportunities to facilitate the next generation of the Institute’s scientific efforts to find preventions and cures for disorders of the developing brain, spinal cord, and musculoskeletal system, the release notes. She says in the release that her focus will be on connecting cellular science with human clinical work to foster translational science that informs the underlying mechanisms by which the brain and body recover and learn.

Bastian hopes that this improved collaboration will also attract new funding sources, and plans to explore such nontraditional fund-raising avenues as grassroots fund-raising, which may help accelerate the speed of research by reducing the Institute’s reliance on federal funds, the release notes.

“We’re dealing with a tough research environment in this country right now as government funding has dwindled,” she says in the release. “Nationwide, the research culture is a mode of survival, but by building bridges across levels of science and study, we’re going to create more opportunities for funding.”

She continues: “Children are the future of our country and our world, yet the amount of biomedical science studying how we evaluate, treat, and prevent problems in our children is minimal compared to what we do for adults. I’m excited and honored to have this opportunity to help Kennedy Krieger continue to change that.”

[Source: Kennedy Krieger Institute]