Researchers from the Big Ten and Ivy League, in conjunction with the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), will collaborate in cross-institutional research that aims to assess the effects of head injuries in sports, according to a recent University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) news release. UNL professor Dennis Molfese, PhD, will work on the Big Ten/CIC research collaboration and serve as its director.

Barbara McFadden Allen, CIC executive director calls the collaboration the “most significant research and academic collaboration we have launched…By coming together across traditional boundaries, we can build the infrastructure to address the problem, assemble a much larger pool of athletes and draw upon the formidable research and medical fields and talents represented across the universities.”

Efforts in concussion prevention by both universities include the Big Ten’s 2010 establishment of a conference-wide concussion management plan and the Ivy League’s 2011 series of concussion-curbing measures in the sport of football following a year long review.

According to the news release, the collaboration will use academic research and shared resources to promote positive and constructive change for injury assessment and improved long-term outcomes. A core leadership will also be established to lead the initiative, with each conference identifying researchers and related participants from each school, in addition to a few selected external subject matter experts. The release notes that the effort is designed to facilitate a research network of sports medicine personnel, neurologists, neurophysiologists, neurosurgeons, biologists, epidemiologists, and other experts to build and implement research protocols across each group.

"There is no question that this research program will be greatly strengthened by bringing together in genuine partnership the outstanding and cutting-edge scientists, athletic trainers, and team physicians of both conferences to better understand and reduce as well as treat head injuries,” Molfese adds.

The prior work already undertaken by both conferences during the past two years to address sports related head injuries in intercollegiate athletics will be reportedly extended and enhanced through the Big Ten and Ivy League’s collaboration.

Source: UNL