Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation: Gives nearly $350,000 in grants

Waukesha, Wis. (May 2020) – The Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation (BRPF) has just awarded nearly $350,000 in medical research grants to four research institutions. The Foundation’s mission is to find a cure for paralysis by funding the latest medical research as well as to provide assistance to those that suffer from neurological disorders.

Shekar N. Kurpad, MD, PhD, Sanford J. Larson Professor and Chair in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), received $100,000 as part of a $1 million commitment to establish a BRPF Endowed Chair in Spinal Cord Injury Research. Additionally, Dr. Kurpad and MCW received $25,000 of a $250,000 commitment towards an Endowment to Support Spinal Cord Injury Research that was established by a previous $1 million commitment to establish the Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation Laboratories.

Dr. Murray Blackmore with Marquette University, received $50,000 as part of a $500,000 commitment to establish the BRPF Excellence Fund for Spinal Cord Injury Research. Dr. Blackmore has used a gene therapy approach to test new gene targets for the ability to promote axon regeneration in the injured spinal cord.

The remaining research money went to three remaining researchers. Dr.Damien Pearse with the University of Miami received $60,000 to research Human Cell Exosomes for Spinal Cord Injury. Dr. Antje Kroner with the Medical College of Wisconsin received $54,000 to research pro-inflammatory mediators after a spinal cord injury, and Dr. Cedric Geoffroy with Texas A&M received $50,000 to research a pre-clinical peptide to locomotor functional recovery after acute spinal cord injury.

On April 25, 1998, the life of a Marquette University student, Bryon Riesch, changed forever. A devastating accident left Bryon paralyzed from the chest down, wit limited use of his arms. Despite his injury, he graduated from Marquette University in 2002. He currently is employed at R&R Insurance and holds a position there as a Project Manager, where his responsibilities include investigating and implementing new ideas and technologies. Bryon also serves as President of the BRPF.

Since the Foundation’s inception in 2001, over $5 million has been raised for research, charitable grants and scholarships. For more information about the BRPF, please visit or call 262-391-1533.