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Michael Lane

Michael Lane, PhD

Associate Professor; Co-Director, Neuroscience Camp for High School Students; Co-Director, T32 NIH Spinal Cord Injury Training Program

Department: Neurobiology & Anatomy


  • PhD in Pharmacology - University of Melbourne, Australia (2004)
  • BSc in Anatomy and Physiology (summa cum laude) - University of Tasmania, Australia (1999)

Awards & Honors

  • Elected President of the American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair, 2022
  • Elected Member of the European Science Foundations College of Expert Reviewers, 2020
  • Molly and Bernard Sandberg Award for Significant Contributions in Brain Repair (ASNTR), 2019
  • Best Mentor Award, Drexel Graduate School of Biomedical Science, 2017
  • Elected fellow, American Society for Neural Therapy & Repair, 2015
  • Young Faculty Award, American Association of Anatomists, 2010
  • Postdoctoral Travel Award, American Association of Anatomists, 2009
  • Postdoctoral Award, Society for Neuroscience, 2008
  • Presentation Award, Neuromuscular Plasticity Symposium, 2008

Memberships / Professional Affiliations

  • American Association of Anatomists
  • American Physiological Society
  • American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair (ASNTR)
  • American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy
  • American Spinal Injury Association
  • Australian Neuroscience Society (ANS)
  • International Neurotrauma Society
  • International Society for Neurochemistry
  • National Neurotrauma Society, USA
  • Society for Neuroscience (SfN)
  • Spinal Cord Injury Australia

Michael Lane, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy at Drexel University College of Medicine. He leads a research team consisting of two graduate students and one junior faculty member (instructor).

Prior to coming to Drexel, Dr. Lane was an assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Florida, McKnight Brain Institute. He also served as a lecturer in the annual NIH-funded Spinal Cord Injury Training Program at The Ohio State University from 2009 to 2013.

Research Overview

Research Interests

Spontaneous and therapeutically enhanced neural plasticity following cervical spinal cord injury


Michael Lane, PhD, began research in spinal cord injury during his undergraduate research at the University of Tasmania. After graduating with Bachelor of Science (Hons), Michael completed his PhD with Norman Saunders at the University of Melbourne. In 2005, he began postdoctoral training at the Universities of Melbourne and Florida, before accepting a non-tenure track position at the University of Florida in 2009. Michael accepted a position with the Spinal Cord Research Center at Drexel University in 2013, to continue his research into spinal cord injury, neuroplasticity and strategies to optimize repair and lasting functional recovery. Now a tenured associate professor, funded by the NIH and research foundations, Michael is actively pursuing cell therapies and rehabilitative strategies to promote recovery of breathing after cervical spinal cord injury.

Current Funding

Title: Respiratory training promotes plasticity and recovery after spinal cord injury
Agency: Pennsylvania Department of Health, Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund
Project Dates: 2021-2023

Title: Neural transplants to promote respiratory plasticity after spinal cord injury
Agency: National Institute of Health, NINDS R01
Project Dates: 2018-2023

Title: Repair of the chronically injured spinal cord with cell therapy
Agency: Wings for Life
Project Dates: 2019-2022

Title: Transplantation of stem cell-derived neural progenitors to promote repair of injured spinal neuronal networks
Agency: Moseley Foundation
Project Dates: 2019-2022

Title: Electrical Stimulation of Transplanted Cells to Repair the Injured Spinal Cord
Agency: Craig H. Neilsen Foundation (sub-contract)
Project Dates: 2020-2022

In the Media

The Movement to Cure Spinal Cord Injury, Episode 37, an Interview with Drs Rabchevsky and Lane
Podcast: SCI CureCast (2020)

“Drexel University spinal cord injury researcher Dr Michael Lane receives award from ASNTR”
USF Research (2019)

Breathing Free
Exel Magazine (2019)

Stem Cell Derived Nerve Cells Improve Breathing in Rats with Spinal Cord Injuries
MedGadget (June 7, 2018)

Breathing Paralysis Improved through Transplantation of Lab-Grown Neurons
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (June 7, 2018)

Lab-Grown Neurons Improve Breathing in Rats After Spinal Cord Injury
DrexelNow (June 6, 2018)

“Bill paves next steps for spinal cord disability research”
Local21 TV News (2017)

Episode 17: An Interview with Dr. Michael Lane
SCI Curecast (December 29, 2017)

V2a Cells: Searching for Optimal Therapies
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Blog (June 20, 2017)

“Cell transplantation for neural repair: improving outcomes following spinal cord injury”
Research Features (April 2017)

Quick Take: Improving Life for People With Spinal Cord Injuries
Drexel News Blog (December 7, 2016)

“Breathing easier after spinal cord injury”
Spinal Cord Research and Advocacy Blog (2016)

Breakfast with Ryk Goddard
ABC Radio (Australia) (December 1, 2016)

“We're One Step Closer to Reversing Paralysis”
Vice (November 17, 2016)

Talk at WHYY Radio/Pint of Science
WHYY (2015)


(past five years)

Spinal Interneurons: Plasticity After Spinal Cord Injury
Editors: Zholudeva LV and Lane MA. Elsevier Press. (2021)

Propriospinal Neurons: Essential Elements in Locomotion, Autonomic Function and Plasticity after Spinal Cord Injury and Disease
Editors: Stecina K, Cowley KC, Meehan CF, Rank MM, Lane MA
Special Issue in Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience - online (2021)

Spinal interneurons as gatekeepers to neuroplasticity after injury or disease
Zholudeva LV, Abraira V, Satkunendrarajah K, McDevitt TC, Goulding MD, Magnuson DK, Lane MA
Journal of Neuroscience, 41(5): 845-854 [PMID: 33472820] Cover Image (2021)

Preparation of Neural Stem Cells and Progenitors: Neuronal Production and Grafting Applications
Zholudeva LV, Jin Y, Qiang L, Lane MA, Fischer I
Book Chapter In: Methods in Molecular Biology – Neuronal Culture. Humana Press (2021)

Pharmacological disinhibition improves paced breathing following complete spinal cord injury in rats
Bezdudnaya T, Lane MA, Marchenko V
Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology, online [PMID: 32750492] (2020)

Transplanting neural progenitor cells to restore connectivity after spinal cord injury
Fischer I, Dulin J, Lane MA
Nature Reviews Neuroscience (invited), 21(7): 366-383 [PMID: 30520996] (2020)

Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia: gain-of-function mechanisms revealed by new transgenic mouse
Qiang L, Piermarini E, Muralidharan H, Yu W, Lanfranco L, Hennesey L, Fernandes S, Yates P, Swift M, Zholudeva LV, Lane MA, Morfini G, Alexander G, Heiman-Patterson T, Baas PW
Human Molecular Genetics 28(7): 1136-1152 [PMID: 30520996] (2019)

Transplanting Cells for Spinal Cord Repair: Who, What, When, Where and Why?
Zholudeva LV, Lane MA
Invited Review. Cell Transplantation, online [PMID: 30654638] Cover Image (2019)

Choosing the right cell for spinal cord repair
Zholudeva LV, Lane MA
Invited Commentary and Featured Cover Image. J Neurosci Res., 97(2): 109-111 - invited [PMID: 30383302] Cover Image (2018)

The neuroplastic and therapeutic potential of interneurons in the injured spinal cord
Zholudeva LV, Qiang L, Marchenko V, Dougherty KJ, Sakiyama-Elbert SE, Lane MA
Trends in Neuroscience (invited), 41(9): 625-639 [PMID: 30017476] Recommendation: Fehlings MG, Faculty Opinions, 09 Apr 2020; 10.3410/f.733658744.793573260 (2018)

Transplantation of neural progenitors and V2a interneurons after spinal cord injury
Zholudeva LV, Iyer N, Qiang L, Spruance VM, Randelman ML, Bezdudnaya TG, Fischer I, Sakiyama-Elbert S, Lane MA
J Neurotrauma, 35(24): 2883-2903 [PMID: 29873284] Cover Image. Recommendation: Fehlings MG, Faculty Opinions, 09 Apr 2020; 10.3410/f.733395133.793573266 (2018)

"Paced breathing and phrenic nerve responses evoked by epidural stimulation following complete high cervical spinal cord injury"
Bezdudnaya T, Lane MA, Marchenko V
J Applied Physiology, 125(3): 687-696 [PMID: 29771608] (2018)

"Spontaneous respiratory plasticity following unilateral high cervical spinal cord injury in behaving rats"
Bezdudnaya T, Hormigo TM, Marchenko V, Lane MA
Experimental Neurology, 305: 56-65 [PMID: 29596845] (2018)

"Integration of transplanted neural precursors with the injured spinal cord"
Spruance VM, Zholudeva LV, Hormigo KM, Bezdudnaya T, Marchenko V, Lane MA
J Neurotrauma, 35(15): 1781-1799 [PMID: 29295654] (2018)

"Anatomical recruitment of spinal V2a interneurons into phrenic motor circuitry after high cervical spinal cord injury"
Zholudeva LV, Karliner J, Dougherty K, Lane MA
J Neurotrauma, 34(21):3058-3065 [PMID: 28548606] (2017)

"Supraspinal respiratory plasticity following acute cervical SCI"
Bezdudnaya TG, Marchenko V, Zholudeva LV, Spruance VM, Lane MA
Experimental Neurology, 293: 181-189 [PMID: 28433644] (2017)

"Improving the therapeutic efficacy of neural progenitor cell transplantation following spinal cord injury"
Lane MA, Lepore AJ, Fischer I
Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 21: 1-8 [PMID: 27917734] (2017)

"Histological identification of phrenic afferent projections to the spinal cord"
Nair J, Bezdudnaya T, Zholudeva LV, Detloff M, Reier PJ, Lane MA*, Fuller DD
Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology, 236:57-68 [PMID: 27838334] (2017)
(*Co-corresponding author)

"Enhancing neural activity to drive respiratory plasticity following cervical spinal cord injury"
Hormigo KM, Zholudeva LV, Spruance VM, Marchenko V, Pascale M-P, Vinit S, Giszter S, Bezdudnaya T, Lane MA
Experimental Neurology, 287(Pt2):276-287[PMID: 27582085] (2017)

"Forelimb muscle plasticity following unilateral cervical spinal cord injury"
Gonzalez-Rothi EJ, Armstrong GT, Cerreta AJ, Fitzpatrick GM, Reier PJ, Lane MA, Judge AR, Fuller DD
Muscle Nerve, 53(3): 475-478 [PMID: 26662579] (2016)

Contact Information

Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy
2900 W. Queen Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19129
Phone: 215.991.8892
Fax: 215.843.9082