Kyrene de las Brisas Elementary School students and teachers will wear their favorite sports team jersey or t-shirt to class today, the first organization to participate in “Get Your Jersey On,” a fun way to help promote and fund concussion research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).
The Chandler school is the first of what is expected to be many organizations this fall that will help fund TGen’s collaboration with the Arizona State University Sun Devil football team to help find new ways to protect athletes from serious injuries caused by head trauma.
“Our school is just a few miles south of ASU, and what better — and fun — way to show our support for the teams and athletes than to help fund a program that will ultimately help protect their health. Concussions affect not just athletes, but people of all ages. We are proud to partner with TGen to help raise the awareness of this important research,” said Dino Katsiris, Assistant Principal at Kyrene de las Brisas Elementary School.
Teachers and parents of students participating in “Get Your Jersey On” are encouraged to make small donations of $5 or $10 to TGen. If you would like your organization to participate, contact Dean Ballard, Assistant Director of Development for the non-profit TGen Foundation, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 602-343-8543.
Student-athletes at ASU wear football helmets made by Riddell, a leader is sports helmet technology, with sensors that record the number, direction and intensity of impacts during games and practices.
TGen researchers, working with Barrow Neurological Institute and A.T. Still University, are attempting to connect data about the helmet impacts with biological changes that could be detected in the players’ blood, urine or saliva samples.
The goal is to discover a biomarker — some change in the student-athlete’s genetic makeup — that would objectively indicate when they are too injured to continue playing, and when they are fit enough to return to the game.
Representatives from the Sun Devil medical team and TGen will collect the molecular samples from the participating athletes, all of whom volunteered to partake in the study.
“It is so exciting to have the children of Kyrene de las Brisas Elementary School join us in this important work,” said Michael Bassoff, President of the TGen Foundation. “We welcome the participation of Brisas Elementary School and other businesses and organizations who want to turn their love of sports into a way to help protect the athletes they admire.”
For more information about the TGen-led concussion study, please visit tgen.org.