Temple University received a $20 million grant from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) to conduct research on a new class of materials designed to better protect soldiers against traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
The research will focus on three major areas – understanding and improving the performance of materials through computer modeling; understanding the mechanisms and thresholds of traumatic brain injury by reviewing clinical, behavioral and biochemical changes related to traumatic brain injuries and concussions; and exploring new ways to improve protection against ballistic impacts.
“The project will also develop technologies that can be commercialized and brought to market, broadening the benefits of the program to the society at large,” said Stephen Nappi, Temple’s associate vice president for technology commercialization and business development.
The research is aimed at helping to better protect soldiers, but it has broader reach, said Michele M. Masucci, Temple’s vice president for research. “Whether we’re talking about law enforcement or athletes, anything where impact might come to bear” could benefit from the project. “We hope to dramatically improve the safety of individuals at risk for traumatic brain injury.”
The grant is one of the largest awarded to Temple over such a short period of time – two years – during which Temple researchers will collaborate with an interdisciplinary team from the University of Southern California, the University of Southern Mississippi, and the University of North Texas.