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IU leads in concussion research and safety for student-athletes


Indiana University is a recognized leader in concussion research because of our faculty's relentless pursuit to understand the cause of traumatic brain injury and how to treat it. Our commitment to improving lives through research extends to the playing field, where our leading medical practices ensure that our student-athletes receive the best protection and care. 

The IU School of Medicine in partnership with the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana, is one of just 16 centers in the nation designated as a Traumatic Brain Injury Model System site. The school currently has 26 active awards totaling over $50 million in funding that support traumatic brain injury research. 

The IU School of Medicine also serves as the administrative and operations core for the NCAA-U.S. Department of Defense Concussion Assessment, Research and Education Consortium study, known as CARE. Led by Dr. Tom McAllister, the Albert Eugene Sterne Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, CARE is the world’s most comprehensive concussion study and received a 10-year extension of $42 million just last year. To date, CARE investigators — experts at IU as well as at institutions across the country — have contributed over 100 scientific publications to the field.

This vital research informs the best practices followed by IU Athletics, where all student-athletes, coaches, athletic trainers, and administrators are educated on concussions. IU Athletics has a team of primary-care sports medicine physicians trained in the diagnosis and treatment of concussions. Medical personnel with training in the diagnosis, treatment, and initial management of acute concussion are present at all NCAA competitions involving high-risk sports. 

Our student-athletes benefit from the expertise of Dr. John Shaffer, a board-certified neurologist with training in sports medicine, and CARE consortium investigator Dr. Nick Port, an associate professor in the School of Optometry with research in the field of concussion. 

The IU Athletics' team of concussion experts also participates in the Indiana Concussion Sports Alliance, which advises the Indiana Legislature and Indiana State High School Athletic Association on concussion policies, using its knowledge and experience to contribute to the health care of all Hoosiers.

This dedication to prioritizing the safety of our students and engaging in transformational research is at the heart of IU’s mission, and we remain relentless in pushing boundaries to improve lives in Indiana and beyond.

Pamela Whitten 

Indiana University


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