Million Dollar Gift to Foundation of UMDNJ Boosts Work in Spinal Cord Injury Lab

Oct 13, 2011, 13:20 ET from New Jersey Health Foundation

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New Jersey resident Tim Reynolds has donated an additional $1.2 million to the Foundation of UMDNJ for the Reynolds Family Spine Laboratory at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, where researchers are working diligently to discover powerful therapies for chronic spinal cord injured patients by integrating basic and translational research.

"Mr. Reynolds was able to make his most recent gift by donating stock options to optimize their value for the benefit of the Lab through New Jersey Health Foundation, the parent of the Foundation of UMDNJ," explained Dr. George F. Heinrich, M.D., vice chair and CEO of New Jersey Health Foundation.

This recent donation brings Mr. Reynolds's total gifts to over $8 million since 2006, when his first gift of $1 million established the lab. The Reynolds family is hopeful that Dr. Robert Heary and his research team will discover new and improved treatment for the 250,000 people in the U.S. and millions of others around the world suffering with serious spinal cord injuries.

Mr. Reynolds became one of those patients when he suffered a devastating spinal cord injury as the victim of a car accident in 2000. At that time, Dr. Heary performed surgery to help Mr. Reynolds attain a meaningful recovery, but the accident so badly crushed his spinal cord that Mr. Reynolds remains wheelchair-bound today.  A second surgery by Dr. Heary in 2003 saved Mr. Reynolds from quadriplegia and imminent death when a syrinx (cyst) formed in his spinal cord and threatened the use of his hands and his brain.

"Since we established the Lab, our team of scientists has worked unselfishly to add valuable insights and knowledge about spinal cord injuries to the public domain," Mr. Reynolds explained. "With my financial help and the brilliant minds of Dr. Heary and his team, we are using all of our energy to attack hugely complicated and critical problems related to spinal cord injuries. We know we can't solve this alone, which is why our mission statement mandates we donate our discoveries to the public domain."

Mr. Reynolds' gifts have empowered the growing team to eagerly research and discover new insights.

"With Mr. Reynolds' support we have hired outstanding fellows, PhD and graduate student scientists, purchased needed equipment and embarked on a number of projects that will help us achieve our goals," Dr. Heary said.  "His invaluable assistance has allowed us to pursue a number of research avenues that we hope will eventually make a world of difference for those with spinal cord injuries."

About New Jersey Health Foundation
New Jersey Health Foundation (,) established in 2002 as a not-for-profit, public charity, is the parent company to:

  • The Foundation of UMDNJ (, which solicits private sector support for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
  • Foundation Venture Capital Group, LLC, ( which makes private equity investments in start-up technology companies founded by researchers at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey.

SOURCE New Jersey Health Foundation