PISCATAWAY (December 9, 2019) – NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders (NJCTS), the nation’s first Center of Excellence dedicated to helping individuals and families affected by the often devastating neurological disorder, presented an Award of Excellence to Congressman Albio Sires (D-8) on the Busch Campus of Rutgers University in Piscataway.
In attendance at the ceremony were Chancellor Christopher Molloy of Rutgers, Dean Francine Conway of GSAPP, NJCTS Youth Advocate Paige Kowalski, Dr. Jay Tischfield of Rutgers and Dean Paranicas of the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey. Andrew Hendry, Chairman of the NJCTS Board of Directors, emceed.
NJCTS is celebrating 15 years of excellence providing programs and services to families, outreach to the education and medical communities, and support for collaborative research into better treatments and a cure for Tourette Syndrome (TS), which affects as many as 1 in 100 children and adults.
“When we established NJCTS in 2004, our goal was to provide support to New Jersey families needing diagnosis and services for this misunderstood and often misdiagnosed condition that can affect every aspect of an individual’s life,” said Faith Rice, Executive Director and founder of NJCTS. “Congressman Sires has been our champion from the beginning.”
When Rice was seeking to start the Center, it was Sires, then Speaker of the New Jersey Assembly, that helped to secure the funds. As a Congressman he stood before the U.S. Congress and commended NJCTS for its “tireless pursuit to improve the lives of those impacted by this disorder.” This year, he reintroduced bill H.R. 1131, Collaborative Academic Research Efforts (CARE) for Tourette Syndrome, into Congress. The CARE Act would require the NIH to award grants and contracts to academic, healthcare and other institutions to support the establishment of Collaborative Tourette Syndrome Research Centers in different regions of the country. These “centers of excellence” would host high level, concerted, scientific and clinical research into TS and related disorders.
“Today, NJCTS has grown to be recognized globally for programming and partnerships that have resulted in first-ever research findings into the genetic causes of Tourette Syndrome,” said Rice. “Congressman Sires supported our efforts from vision to reality and because of him, hundreds of thousands of families have a clearer path to finding answers and hope.”
Also recognized at today’s event was Dr. Jay Tischfield. Tischfield, who is CEO, founder and scientific director of RUCDR Infinite Biologics and the Duncan and Nancy MacMillan Distinguished Professor of Genetics at Rutgers, received the 2019 HealthCare Institute of New Jersey Research Recognition Award “in recognition of innovative and creative leadership in genetics research, scholarship and commercial collaborations.”
In 2007, NJCTS and Dr. Tischfield’s team established the NJCTS Cell & DNA Sharing Repository as a resource for sharing clinical and genetic data related to TS research. Last year, Dr. Tischfield and an international team published a study reporting significant progress in understanding the genetic causes of Tourette syndrome.
To learn more about NJCTS and the programs offered, visit www.njcts.org or 908.575.7350.
NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders, the nation’s first Center of Excellence for Tourette Syndrome, is a not-for-profit organization committed to the advocacy of children and families with Tourette Syndrome and its associated disorders. Dedicated to delivering high quality services to these individuals, the Center recognizes the importance of educating the public, medical professionals, and teachers about the disorder through programs and affiliations with schools, health centers, and universities.