BROOK, N.Y., April 17, 2012 – Stony Brook
University has received a $2.5 million gift from Robert and Lisa Lourie to
advance research and clinical care at the National Pediatric
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Center at Stony Brook
Long Island Children’s Hospital and to establish a new state-of-the-art imaging
center at Stony Brook Medicine. The gift will be matched by the Simons Foundation
Challenge Grant, providing a total impact of $5
million. The Pediatric MS Center will be renamed the Lourie Center for
Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis.
|Robert and Lisa Lourie |
Sclerosis historically has been viewed as an adult-onset disease. But according
to the National MS Society, approximately eight-to-ten thousand children in the
nation have MS. The disease in children can be difficult to diagnose. The
advent of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other ways to detect MS lesions
have helped to secure the MS diagnosis in children. But because little is yet
known on impact of the disease in children, neurologists and other MS experts
still seek a consensus on MS diagnosis and treatment in children.
Lisa and Robert Lourie Imaging Suite will include new imaging technologies that
will help Stony Brook’s neuroscientists understand more about the brain and
spinal cord in relation to MS, epilepsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS),
and other neurological disorders. The first purchase for the Suite will be the Siemens
Biograph mMR System, a state-of-the-art positron emission tomography (PET)/MRI
scanner. The system enables physicians to simultaneously determine both
structure and function of abnormalities throughout the head and body.
Brook Medicine is rapidly becoming a national leader in academic healthcare and
research,” says Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., M.D., President, Stony Brook
University. “The Lourie’s extraordinary gift will enable us to provide the
resources and environment needed to support the best researchers, and to reach
new heights in pioneering research.”
|Lauren Krupp, M.D., Professor of Neurology, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, and Pediatric MS Program Director|
and Lisa’s incredible generosity will help Stony Brook Medicine advance our
mission of excellence in so many ways, including both imaging and neurological
disorders,” says Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D., M.A.C.P., Senior Vice President,
Health Sciences, and Dean, Stony Brook University School of Medicine. “The gift
will allow our faculty to delve into the origins and markers of this
devastating disease, hopefully leading to better diagnoses and potentially,
imaging advances made possible by the PET/MRI scanner could dramatically impact
the path of future research,” says Lauren Krupp, M.D., Professor of Neurology,
Stony Brook University School of Medicine, and Pediatric MS Program Director.
Dr. Krupp explains that the use of the PET/MRI presents Stony Brook MS experts
with the opportunity to pursue new avenues of research, including being able to
measure the effects of MS on brain tissue at the level of individual cell types.
Lourie’s hope is that new basic and clinical MS research at Stony Brook will
lead to a cure for pediatric MS. With the multidisciplinary expert team of MS
clinicians and researchers at the Center and new imaging capabilities, the team
expects to advance diagnostic methods and treatments for children with MS. They
also hope to unravel the mechanism by which the disease course may be reversed
in pediatric cases, gaining insights that could lead to a cessation of disease
progression in children and adults affected by MS.
are a lot of known, valuable uses for this technology,” says Robert Lourie,
Ph.D., a physicist. “But it is new enough that I wouldn’t be the least bit
surprised if the most significant things that come out of it haven’t been
thought of yet.
the Lourie’s do not have a personal connection to pediatric MS, they both feel
the gift represents what they view as a responsibility to give back to
important causes after being extremely successful in their careers. Dr. Lourie
rose in the field of physics and eventually became a tenured Associate
Professor of Physics at the University of Virginia and is now Head of Futures
Research at Renaissance Technologies. Lisa Lourie is a nurse who has worked in
intensive care units and with AIDS patients.
says a “feel-good” aspect to this gift is that it incorporates their natural
interests. “The research is a marriage of the bioinformatics, which is Robert’s
end of things, and then the clinical, which is my end of things.”
Center for Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis, part of Stony Brook Children’s
Hospital, was established to advance the recognition, evaluation, and treatment
of children and adolescents with MS through the creation of a multidisciplinary
program dedicated to clinical care and scientific research of children and
adolescents with MS. The Center includes a team of experts in MS, pediatric
neurology, nursing, social work, psychiatry, neuroimaging, and neuropsychology.
The first center of its kind in the nation, it has been designated a Center of
Excellence by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Stony Brook University Neurosciences Institute:
Composed of 10 highly specialized centers plus a core neurosciences program,
Stony Brook University Neurosciences Institute continues to recruit top
physicians and invest in latest-generation technology. Its Cerebrovascular and
Stroke Center features highly advanced technology, a biplane angiography suite
equipped with the Siemens Artis® zee with syngo DynaCT™neuro systems, and has a
world-class neuroendovascular replicator and research laboratory. In addition,
the Center’s physicians have been among the first in North America to perform
groundbreaking procedures. To learn more, visit www.neuro.stonybrookmedicine.edu.