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Julius Fridriksson receives an $11.1 million grant from the NIH to study aphasia recovery

Julius Fridriksson, USC Health Sciences Distinguished Professor in the Arnold School of Public Health’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders received an $11.1-million grant from the National institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Fridriksson and his co-investigators will use this grant to establish the Center for the Study of Aphasia Recovery, which will span four research sites at the Arnold School of Public Health (working with USC’s McCausland Center for Brain Imaging), the Medical University of South Carolina, Johns Hopkins University and the University of California Irvine.

This new center will study a communication disorder, aphasia, that impacts South Carolina, which is sometimes referred to as the “buckle” of the stroke belt, at a high rate. Aphasia, a communication disorder that results from stroke or brain injury, affects the sufferer’s ability to speak, listen, read and/or write, but does not affect intelligence, can impact a patient for a few days or weeks after the precipitating event, or be a chronic issue. There is a great deal of variability in aphasia’s effects on individual patients, and today, clinicians cannot predict which patients will be impacted by aphasia or how severe or long-lasting the effects will be. This is one of the questions the new Center for the Study of Aphasia Recovery will investigate as they work develop tools to help clinicians better understand and predict patient outcomes.

Fridriksson’s success is a shining example of the strength of USC’s research in health sciences, one of our four research focus areas. Vice President for Research Prakash Nagarkatti said, “This grant—one of the largest ever received at USC—represents a huge accomplishment for Fridriksson because federal grants are the most competitive type of research funding. He has built a remarkable research portfolio at USC, helping many patients around South Carolina in the process, and I look forward to seeing what breakthroughs he will make in aphasia research in the coming years.”

Read more about Dr. Fridriksson’s grant, and view a series of videos on his research, on the Arnold School of Public Health website.

8 April 2016