Effect of Injury Severity and Location on Spasms Post SCI

Project: Research project

Project Details


My dedication to spinal cord injury (SCI) comes from both my clinical and academic experiences. As a clinician, I specialized in improving the overall function of persons with SCI and teaching other clinicians specialized treatments for SCI. As an academic, I have had extensive and broad research experiences in SCI. I started working in human SCI research first examining bone mineral density changes post injury at the University of Iowa and then studying the spinal circuitry changes occurring post SCI that contribute to spams at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. My experience with human SCI research and my experiences in the clinic prompted my return to academia full-time to use research to improve the lives of individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) as my main focus. During my PhD with Jack Kessler, MD, my emphasis was toward interventions. I used developmental neurobiological approaches to attenuating or solving SCI including neural and oligodendritic replacement with embryonic stem cells and axon regeneration with growth factors and development-inspired nanotechnology materials. In performing these studies with my experience as a physical therapist, I saw a great need to develop specific quantitative behavioral tests so we can prove not only that our interventions work, but how exactly they contribute to function. My postdoctoral fellowship with Matt Tresch, PhD, aimed at developing such tests. At present, we have pioneered several new techniques for looking at in vivo mouse behaviors including chronic multi-muscle EMG recordings and single motor unit recordings in the mouse. The spectrum of neuroscientific areas and techniques in which I have experience is quite broad, however, the one piece that is missing is the ability to examine neuronal function using cellular electrophysiology. My short-term career goal is to fill this gap. This proposal provides the expertise and protected time for this learning to occur. Once I am able to perform the techniques
Effective start/end date8/7/152/28/22


  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (5K01HD084672-05)


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