Student Well-Being

Concussion Expert Wins $500K MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant

By Bryan Toporek — September 20, 2011 1 min read

Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz, a leading concussion researcher and the founding director of the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center, was named a “genius grant” recipient today by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The 22 recipients found out about their grants through “a phone call out of the blue” from the foundation, learning that they’ll receive $500,000 in equal quarterly installments over the next five years. Better yet, the money comes with no strings attached—MacArthur Fellows have the freedom to put the money to use however they see fit.

For Guskiewicz, who also serves as a professor of exercise and sport science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, the prize money is bound to end up going towards concussion-related research.

Guskiewicz has long been one of the nation’s leading concussion researchers, sounding the alarm about repetitive head injuries before this recent wave of public concussion awareness. One look at the list of publications on his resume is enough to make your head spin.

• From August 1999 through July 2003, Guskiewicz worked with a team to discover a safe and cost-effective method for diagnosing and evaluating concussions in a study called, “A Prospective Investigation of Mild Head Injury (MHI) in Sport: A Prevention Initiative.” Based on the results, Guskiewicz and his team concluded that athletes with a history of multiple concussions may experience an increase in concussion symptoms on a regular basis.

• In 2003, Guskiewicz also had a study published in

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.