The AANS (American Association of Neurological Surgeons) was founded in 1931 as the Harvey Cushing Society. It is a scientific and educational association with more than 12,000 members worldwide. The AANS advances the specialty of neurological surgery through education, research, advocacy, and outcomes science to promote the highest quality of patient care.
Who is Chuck Noll
Our client, the Chuck Noll Foundation, specializes in brain injury research and awards grants in order to advance research related to the diagnosis and treatment of injuries to the brain occurring primarily from sports activities. The foundation will be returning this year for the annual AANS 2023 conference in Los Angeles in support of our entire science advisory committee and to announce some exciting news about the foundation.
Many remember Chuck Noll as the Hall of Fame coach who helped turn the Steelers into an NFL powerhouse, leading the franchise to an incredible four Super Bowl wins in just six years. But what you may not know is Chuck Noll’s critical role in helping to increase the understanding of concussions, and pioneered important changes to testing concussions in athletes. This led to substantial safety changes across many different sports and levels of competition.
Partnership with Dr. Joseph Maroon
Chuck Noll’s commitment to the well-being of his players led to a breakthrough in 1990. One of his players had to sit out because of a concussion and he asked Dr. Joseph Maroon, the Steelers’ neurosurgeon, to look into head injuries and their effects.
Dr. Maroon ultimately teamed up with Mark Lovell, PhD, and Micky Collins, PhD to create a baseline test for determining the cognitive effects of concussions, the forerunner of what would become the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test (IMPACT). Thanks to Chuck Noll, players today have a medically sound scientific objective method of determining when it is safe to return to play.
Dr. Maroon, member of the Chuck Noll’s Science Advisory Committee, has also guided the Chuck Noll Foundation in selecting a dozen outstanding, early stage research projects in Southwestern Pennsylvania. He has also found passion in new research that focuses on the use of biomarkers found in blood and saliva to detect brain injuries. They’ve created the Joseph C. Maroon Fund to continue these efforts and continue driving more studies and research dedicated to this.
The Brain Bank
The University of Pittsburgh has been working hard for the past 30 years through the brain institute to give researchers across the country a chance to study human brain tissue that has been damaged by neurodegenerative disease. This Brain Bank is different from many others due to its collection of over 1,000 brains and the use of the gold-standard assessment tools to note variations seen in diseased and normal brains that speeds translation of findings. This brain bank also has access to a broad range of diseases cataloged that will enable discovery of ways in which some brain diseases overlap, as well as how they are critically different.
The Chuck Noll Foundation is excited to announce their partnership with the Brain Institute and the University of Pittsburgh. There will be more details to come on this after the AANS 2023 conference on April 21-24 in Los Angeles so make sure to follow along with us for the recap!
You can learn more about the Chuck Noll Foundation and our incredible committee and board members at https://www.chucknollfoundation.org/our-people.