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About the Raynor Cerebellum Project

“The goal of the Raynor Cerebellum Project is to empower novel interdisciplinary research aimed at impacting the lives of people with cerebellar disease within five to seven years.”

Filling the Gap

Existing cerebellum research has suffered from a piecemeal approach, which has necessitated a need for focus and a streamlined path to treatments for those suffering from cerebellar dysfunction. Alongside our many partners, we are focused on identifying those who are uniquely qualified to take on a project of this magnitude, which will demand collaboration from the best minds with a Manhattan Project-like focused, results-oriented approach. The Raynor Cerebellum Project is committed to finding the shortest path to improving the lives of people suffering from cerebellar disorders. Timing is critical as these people cannot wait.

To accomplish this, we will:

  • Prepare a battle plan for solving cerebellar dysfunction, including major goals, key experts, and technologies required to carry out the vision.
  • Launch research efforts at Raynor Cerebellum Project sites with regular communication and in-person meetings at least once a year in order to critically evaluate progress and update research goals to reflect experimental results.
  • Seek out the best experts in cerebellar dysfunction from around the world.
  • Convene Cerebellum Summits and Symposia on cerebellar research.
    • Learn more about our past and upcoming events HERE

Collaborative Research & Initiatives

An important dimension of this Project will be funding promising areas of collaborative research and initiatives. These initiatives will be an integral component of the overall Raynor Cerebellum Project, complementing other project efforts to advance its overall goals.

Philanthropy is essential to realizing the tremendous promise of putting all the greatest neuroscience minds together focused on one thing: improving the lives of people with cerebellar dysfunction and disorders.

The Raynor Cerebellum Project has committed to the following:

$10 million to fund research projects around the world within the Raynor Cerebellum Project Network

Funding will be allocated to researchers whose work has great promise to advance the understanding necessary to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by cerebellar dysfunction under an expedited timeline

Supporting and coordinating gatherings to inspire collaboration and innovative research

including Cerebellum Summits, RCP symposia, and subsequent meetings of the Raynor Cerebellum Project participants

Hiring a Director to spearhead and oversee all RCP activity

The RCP Director will be responsible for leading the grant proposal and researcher profile review process, communicating the global state of cerebellar research, liaising with the Foundation to critically evaluate progress and update priorities and goals as the program progresses, and coordinating RCP Summits & Symposia

Appointing Advisory Board Members to support the RCP Director

Advisory Board Members will support the RCP Director in evaluating grant proposals for allocation and evaluating the progress of selected projects. They will serve as an advisory body that will help plan symposia and summits, suggest recruitments, and evaluate scientific progress.

$15 million to support RCP initiatives at UT Southwestern Medical Center

What is Cerebellar Dysfunction?

Cerebellar dysfunction typically causes imbalance and disrupts movement control, causing abnormalities of gait, coordination, speech, and eye movements. Yet, scientists are beginning to view cerebellar dysfunction in a whole new way. It is not just what happens in the cerebellum, but also how cerebellar dysfunction impacts many other parts of the brain with which it connects, the so-called “foreign policy” of the cerebellum.

Because of these widespread connections, particularly with the cerebral cortex, many cases of cerebellar disease are associated with “non-motor” symptoms. While the clinical picture in most cases is dominated by motor disturbances, abnormalities of language, attention, emotional control, and learning are increasingly linked to cerebellar disease. Mounting evidence over the past decade has pointed to a role for the cerebellum in cognition and social skills.

Abnormal development of the cerebellum or early injury to the structure disrupt not only cerebellar function, but also its widespread connections, causing a range of motor and non-motor neurodevelopmental challenges. Conversely, many neurodevelopmental disorders not previously believed to involve the cerebellum, including autism, are increasingly being found to include cerebellar dysfunction as a contributor to motor, cognitive, and behavioral challenges.

Rapid advances in several technologies, including brain imaging, genetics, and laboratory techniques enabling precise mapping and manipulation of connected brain regions are powering this new understanding of the cerebellum and its functions and hold great promise for future discoveries critical for better therapeutics.