Spinal Cord Research Center Gets Formal Designation
September 24, 2007
Drexel University College of Medicine is pleased to announce the formal designation of the College's Spinal Cord Research Center. Since the spinal cord research group was established more than 25 years ago, it has evolved into one of the premier research centers in the study of spinal cord injury, and remains the only center of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic region. The center has 15 primary faculty members, 10 affiliated members and a staff of more than 20 postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and technicians dedicated to developing and translating promising research strategies into clinically relevant protocols.
The center has been continuously funded by National Institutes of Health Program Projects, including a recent renewal of more than $6 million for the next five years. Investigators in the center apply recent advances in stem cell transplantation, physiology of locomotion, rehabilitation protocols and pharmacological interventions to open new avenues for more effective treatments. They pioneered studies of transplantation of fetal tissue, cells genetically modified to secrete growth factors, the use of neural stem cells in the injured spinal cord and combined therapeutic interventions. Collaborations involve scientists and clinicians in a variety of disciplines, including neurology, neurosurgery, orthopedics, neuro-radiology, and physical rehabilitation.
Based in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, the Spinal Cord Research Center is directed by an executive committee of department faculty: Drs. Itzhak Fischer, professor and department chair; John Houle, professor; Michel Lemay, assistant professor; and Marion Murray, professor. The impressive roster of center members also includes researchers at Drexel University's School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems; Jefferson University; Shriner's Hospital; Acadia University; and the Philadelphia VA Medical Center.