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Neuroscience (NEUS) Program Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research

Traumatic Brain Injury

For more than 30 years, we have been running a vibrant and diverse research program focused on understanding sequelae of spinal cord injury (SCI) and investigating strategies for repair and functional recovery.

Our collaborative faculty members apply contemporary cutting-edge advances in stem cell transplantation, physiology of locomotion and respiration, gene therapy, rehabilitation protocols and pharmacological interventions to open new avenues for more effective treatments for acute and chronic SCI.

Other ongoing studies concentrate on traumatic brain injury, with a focus on how to minimize the expansion of damage and develop interventions that restore cognitive function. We study the spectrum of severity, from mild concussions to severe trauma, and additionally focus on repetitive concussions. Of particular interest is the study of how the developing brain responds to brain trauma. The goal of these studies is to develop pharmacologic and rehabilitative strategies to limit damage and restore function.

For translation of these findings, a diverse group of clinical and basic scientists are collaborating to develop effective approaches to the evaluation and treatment of patients with spinal cord or brain injury.

For more information:

Areas of Interest

  • Neuroplasticity
  • Axon regeneration
  • Cellular transplantation (e.g., stem cells, peripheral nerve bridges, fibroblasts)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Gliotic response to injury, including neuroinflammation
  • Autonomic dysfunction (e.g., cardiovascular modulation, urination)
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Neuroprotective strategies
  • Robotics and brain-machine interface
  • Computational neuroscience and modeling
  • Recovery of motor, sensory, autonomic functions
  • Microtubule-based therapies for augmenting nerve regeneration

Neurobiology and Anatomy Faculty

Biology Faculty

  • John R. Bethea, PhD
  • A. Denise R. Garcia, PhD
An image of DRG Neurons from the neuroscience program at Drexel University College of Medicine.