Thursday night, Sept. 20, marked a banner night at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown as more than 250 guests and supporters gathered to celebrate the launch of Spaulding Research Institute. Spaulding Research Institute is a new commitment from Spaulding to focus resources and energy on issues related to improving the lives of those impacted by disability by advancing new treatments with an accelerated approach. The evening began with a series of rapid-fire scientific presentations called “RehabRAPs” emceed by WBZ-TV anchor Lisa Hughes and spotlighted the work by Spaulding scientists into new research approaches in a number of areas such as brain injury and concussion, stroke, chronic pain, musculoskeletal injury and spinal cord injury. Following the presentations there was a reception and dinner, where attendees viewed 20 dynamic ePosters and interactive demonstrations on various topics by Spaulding researchers and then heard addresses from Spaulding President David Storto, Chair of the Harvard Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Dr. Ross Zafonte, Partners Chairman Emeritus Jack Connors, Spaulding Chairman of the Board Scott Schoen, Co-Chairs of the Event Ellen Gordon, CEO Tootsie Roll Industries and Bennie Wiley, Founder of The Partnership and Principle of The Wiley Group, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Governor Charlie Baker. Honorary Co-Chair Teresa Heinz was unable to attend but shared her support with a statement read by Lisa Hughes. A highlight of the evening was an inspiring video about featuring Spaulding patient and adaptive sports athlete Meredith Koch who recently gave a stirring TEDx Newport talk. Among those who came to support Spaulding and the new research initiative were Harvard Medical School Dean George Daley, Partners HealthCare CEO Dr. David Torchiana, Disability Advocate Travis Roy, Marathon Bombing Survivors Heather Abbott and Roseann Sdoia, Bloomberg Television and former WHDH-TV reporter Janet Wu.