Dr. Eric Coris awarded one of 11 NFL Charities grants

Dec. 8, 2009 — NFL Charities, the charitable foundation of the National Football League, has awarded $1.5 million in grants to support sports-related medical research at 11 organizations nationwide, including the University of South Florida, the NFL announced today.

USF Sports Medicine expert Eric Coris, MD, received a $124,390 NFL Charities Medical Research Grant to study the prevention and treatment of heat stress among athletes. This is the third consecutive NFL Charities research award won by Dr. Coris; he has received a total of more than $272,000 in funding from the foundation since 2004.

“This grant from NFL Charities means more than just another funded research project to us; it means we are one step closer to being able to protect youth, collegiate and professional athletes who participate in sports in the heat,” Dr. Coris said.

Dr. Eric Coris is a team physician for the USF Bulls.

Dr. Coris, associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine and director of Primary Care Sports Medicine at USF, will be collaborating with Dr. Douglass Casa from the University of Connecticut and Dr. Ollie Jay from the University of Ottawa in Canada during the course of his research, which will begin in spring 2010.  The researchers will build on previous studies evaluating how to predict which players are at most risk for heat illness. They will monitor players’ core internal temperatures with a “heat pill,” an ingestible thermometer the size of a large multivitamin, and fit players with high-tech masks to measure their oxygen consumption during practice drills. They will assess how the body physiologically reacts to high-intensity exercise under high heat and humdity on the football field.

Dr. Coris’ latest study will continue the use of a “heat pill” that measures the core temperature of athletes.

The NFL has long supported sports-related medical research through NFL Charities Medical Research Grants. Since 2000, NFL Charities has committed more than $20 million in grants to medical facilities nationwide to address issues including studies on mild traumatic brain injury, ACL injury prevention and heat stress risks.  Overall, the NFL has spent more than $5 million to research concussions and other brain injuries during the past decade, including the NFL Charities grants in this area.

A four-member panel of medical experts evaluates and recommends grantees each year that must be approved by the NFL Charities board. This year’s grants include studies on heat illness, knee biomechanics, artery blockage in retired players and stem cell usage for tendon repair.

Formed in 1973, NFL Charities is a nonprofit organization that enables the league to contribute collectively to charitable causes on a national level. NFL Charities, which has approved more than $120 million in grants to more than 600 different organizations, approves grants annually to support sports-related medical research, youth health programs, and the charitable work of current and retired NFL players.

2009 NFL Charities Medical Grant Recipients
Baylor College of Medicine
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Georgia Institute of Technology
Oregon Health & Science University
Rush University Medical Center
University of Missouri, Columbia
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
University of California, Davis
University of South Florida College of Medicine
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

NFL Charities Board
Commissioner ROGER GOODELL; Former Commissioner PAUL TAGLIABUE; CHARLOTTE JONES ANDERSON, Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President/Director of Charities; MICHAEL BIDWILL, Arizona Cardinals President; MARY OWEN, Buffalo Bills Vice President of Strategic Planning; ALAN PAGE, Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and Pro Football Hall of Fame Member; DELORES BARR WEAVER, Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation CEO.