Q and A: Damodar Thapa, Jerry Silver and Ravi Bellamkonda

Q: What if you added rehab to your non-responding rats?

A: We’re doing that now, and expect it to be very important.

Q: Where does the peptide go?

A: We’re doing analyses that show it goes just about everywhere . . . we think it’s present only a very short time.

Q:  How do you bring this back to Nepal?

couldn’t hear the answer

Q: What kind of axons were those, crossing the injury site? Sensory or Motor?

A: That was in vitro, remember, and we were using sensory neurons.

Q: In Nepal why so few people getting to rehab?

A: A lot of reasons . . . cost, literacy rate, pessimism from surgeons, lack of knowledge

Q: SCI in general is so underfunded, we need money on EVERY level (okay that was a comment)

Q: Do we need more than 30 days of thermostabilization or do we need more?

A: Depends on the model . . . keeping those proteoglycans away for 30 days is fantastic — right now in the UK there’s a very strong effort to use viruses to deliver ChABC . . . my guess is that we’re going to be looking at combinations.  Our interest is to help develop tools that allow for minimal invasion.  In my mind, a really exciting experiment is going to be to use ChABC wake up stuck axons, and once they’re growing, add our peptides.

Q: Will respiratory treatment be a first step for the peptide treatment?  And how soon might it happen?

A:  How soon is the big question . . . all I can say is that in our c2 hemisection, a single shot of ChABC restores 40% of connections even 18 months post injury.

Comment: (Os Steward from the audience)  About the idea of a scientist Manhattan project  . . . we’re all here saying that we need to do more experiments.  What would it mean to have a Manhattan type project?  Think about the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine. (CIRM) $3 billion over 10 years.  Some of these grants are up to $20 million a piece.  I think a billion would be a conservative estimate for what it would take to get the kind of thing you’re talking about going.  I think that’s a reasonable number.

Comment back:   . . . okay, where’s the cohesive plan, who’s Oppenheimer, who’s running the show? People will need to know the answers to those questions.  If that’s there, the money won’t become the issue.

Comment (Os again) . . . BUT the money in CIRM came first . . . and if that were the case, you’d find that scientists could find a way.

Gahhhhh again.  Stopping for lunch.  More on all this later.

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One Comment on “Q and A: Damodar Thapa, Jerry Silver and Ravi Bellamkonda”


  1. […]  From the Q and A just before lunch on the first day, when Os Steward stood up and said that he’d been […]


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