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Research Endowment

Craig's significant and growing research accomplishments rest on the foundation of highly trained clinical staff and physician guidance.

In April of 2016, we were delighted to announce the hiring of Dr. Leslie Morse as the Medical Director of Research at Craig Hospital. Dr. Morse came to us from Boston where she served as the Project Director for the Spaulding Harvard SCI Model System and the Associate Director of Research in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School. A physiatrist by training, her research and clinical focus is the care of individuals with SCI, with an emphasis on bone health after SCI. Dr. Morse has authored more than 40 publications and built an extensive national and international teaching and presentation history. She has demonstrated the capacity to secure funding for groundbreaking research projects while excelling as an independent research investigator.

Morse's Medical Director of Research position enriches the research enterprise at Craig Hospital by offering:

  • Internal Expertise and Leadership, providing our Research Department with medical experience to enhance Craig Hospital’s medical research portfolio; advise the design of clinical protocols, studies and outcome measurement; and grow our leadership within the Model Systems Centers.
  • Innovative Research Approaches, conducting her own unique translational research projects and inspiring creative studies with the potential to radically change the lives of people living with SCI and TBI.
  • External Connections, serving as Craig Hospital’s liaison with industry and other private and public research entities interested in collaboration.
  • Academic Affiliations, holding a faculty appointment at the University of Colorado Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) and teaching PM&R and neurology students.

Craig's Research Endowment

Craig’s research focus has been clinical and translational, focusing on approaches that inform treatments for patients, sometimes referred to as “bench to bedside”. Dr. Morse’s expertise and research portfolio complement this strength with a focus on neurodegenerative research at the cellular and molecular level. Her interests include modifiable risk factors for osteoporosis, therapies to treat bone loss after it occurs, the impact of statin drugs in blocking bone loss, and neuro-recovery using dental pulp stem cells. Dr. Morse’s long term vision is establishing a national Neurotrauma Research Center at Craig at which multiple teams of scientists working in related areas collaborate to push the barriers of current knowledge toward a cure.

To retain Dr. Morse and attract successors of her caliber in years to come, Craig aims to build a $3 million endowment that will support the Medical Director of Research position and ensure our contributions to advancing research. Earnings from the endowment will partially cover the estimated annual costs associated with the position ($100,000 - $125,000), including compensation, support of pilot research studies, and the purchase of needed equipment and tools. Grant-funding will continue to cover the remainder of these costs. An endowment will assure our current and future Medical Directors of Research enjoy the flexibility to pursue promising research opportunities as they emerge, regardless of grant funding cycles.