Working toward improved outcome following spinal cord injury
With a primary focus on pre-clinical research, our long-term goal is to develop strategies for improving functional outcome after cervical spinal cord injury (SCI).
Our research is exploring the consequences of cervical spinal cord injury, the potential for spontaneous improvement in function (plasticity), and aims to develop treatments to improve recovery.
Our ongoing research is supported by the Spinal Cord Research Center at Drexel University, and the National Institute for Neurological Disease and Stroke (NINDS, NIH), the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation and the Department of Defense.
Learn more about Lane Lab: Spinal Cord Research Laboratory.
Spinal Cord Injury & Plasticity
Our research team is investigating the effects of cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) and how recovery can be optimized. A primary focus of this work on the functional consequences of cervical SCI (in particular how breathing and upper extremity (arm) function is impaired) and what potential there is for progressive, spontaneous functional recovery – or functional ‘plasticity’. We are also developing and testing strategies for promoting beneficial plasticity and recovery following cervical SCI.
Learn more about Spinal Cord Injury & Plasticity research.
Breathing after Injury
Our research team is studying how breathing – and activity in respiratory muscles - is affected by cervical SCI, exploring the potential for spontaneous neuroplasticity, and trying to identify therapeutic strategies capable of promoting improvement in respiratory function.
Learn more about Breathing after Injury research.
Developing Treatment Strategies
Our research program is exploring two key therapeutic strategies. The first is a cellular therapy capable of promoting spinal cord repair. This approach has been used extensively in the past 30 years in a wide range of SCI models (e.g. see work by Drs Paul Reier and Itzhak Fischer), and other neurological disorders. Our research now builds upon this extensive experience to assess whether transplantation of neural progenitor cells can repair respiratory pathways after cervical SCI and promote recovery of respiratory function. Our primary focus is on promoting recovery of phrenic motor function – as the diaphragm is an essential component of breathing.
Learn more about Developing Treatment Strategies research.
In the Media
The Lane Lab’s focus is on boosting plasticity — the naturally occurring recovery of damaged spinal circuitry. Such recovery is limited but the thinking here is that there may be ways to harness and strengthen plasticity and thus optimize functional recovery.
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Blog (June 20, 2017)
A new implant joins a small set of treatments offering hope to people with spinal injuries.
Tonic (November 17, 2016)
Walking is not the top priority for many patients who have suffered from cervical spinal cord injuries, according to Michael Lane, PhD, an assistant professor at Drexel University College of Medicine. Much more basic functions — like controlling bowel movements and breathing independently — take precedent.
Drexel News Blog (December 7, 2016)
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