Dr. Angela Ruban awarded grant by the American Department of Defense (DOD)

“Spinal cord injury emergency treatment” research project

21 March 2021
Dr. Angela Ruban awarded grant by the American Department of Defense (DOD)



Tel Aviv, March 16th -2021


A very prestigious and competitive award has been assigned by the American Department of Defense (DOD) to the “Spinal cord injury emergency treatment” research project, conducted at the neuropharmacology lab of Dr. Angela Ruban at Tel Aviv University.


The project is based on significant results from years of research conducted by Dr. Angela Ruban, who explained the huge impact that the success of this project could have on the lives of millions of people. “Every year – said Dr. Ruban – 65 million people suffer from neurotraumas such as spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury and stroke. So far there is no emergency treatment that can be administrated immediately to prevent the severe consequences of a late intervention”.


This study seeks to evaluate therapeutic approaches that will improve the environmental condition of the spinal cord injury site in order to reduce axonal degeneration, glial scar formation and neuronal death, while simultaneously increasing the capacity for axonal regeneration. The project will test the efficacy of the new anti-glutamatergic treatment in spinal cord injury contusion model, as a final pre-clinical drug development stage. The proposed novel treatment is of particular therapeutic relevance for all types of neurotrauma. Paramedics and any other first aid team in the field, could implement the treatment technology within the first hour post-injury, making it the first unique emergency neuroprotective treatment. Dr. Ruban foresees no major obstacles to comply with the Investigational New Drug (IND) requirements and initiate Phase 1 clinical trials, should this project have positive results in the next 24 months.


Dr. Angela Ruban completed her Ph.D. studies in neuropharmacology at the Ben-Gurion University. She then became a postdoctoral fellow at the Weizmann Institute of Science, where she developed a new treatment for glutamate excitotoxicity with Prof. Vivien Teichberg. This research has led to a number of international patents and the establishment of a company, in which Dr. Ruban served as Chief Scientist.


Since October 2015, Dr. Ruban is a principal investigator at the Steyer School of Health profession at the Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University. She is also an affiliated member of the Sagol School of Neuroscience. Dr. Ruban’s laboratory focuses on a development of new treatments for neurotrauma and psychiatric disorders.


In 2020, the above project was also funded by Israel Innovation Authority.


In 2018 Dr. Ruban’s research project in spinal cord injury was chosen as one out of the seven best academic discoveries of the year by Globe competitive s, the most important Israeli business newspaper.

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