The primary, overriding mission of the Burke Medical Research Institute (BMRI) is to develop novel therapeutic approaches that give hope to the acutely and chronically disabled. We are pioneering new therapeutics that impact the growing prevalence of neurological disability from stroke, spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury to neurodegenerative diseases and retinal degenerative diseases.
The growing prevalence of disability is a paradox of progress in the United States and the world. Even as we find more effective and technologically advanced ways of reducing the risk of diseases like stroke and heart attack, the paradox is that the number of people afflicted and disabled by these diseases is growing. More than 700,000 Americans are afflicted by stroke every year leaving more than five and half million Americans chronically disabled from this common disease. Hundreds of thousands more are afflicted by traumatic brain and spinal cord injury. While these statistics may be hard to conceptualize, the personal toll experienced by patients who can no longer speak, walk, or see is tremendous and easy to appreciate. Our scientists are working at many stages in the translational pipeline, from pre-clinical models to clinical interventions in order to encompass all of the challenges associated with finding effective treatments for these afflictions.