Injury to the spinal cord interrupts input to and from the brain. Because adult central nervous system axons fail to fully regenerate following injury, severed axons are permanently disconnected from their target neurons. This results in deficits in voluntary (e.g. walking) and involuntary motor function (e.g. diaphragmatic activity for respiration), autonomic function (e.g. cardiovascular regulation, bladder function), and sensation.
The research mission of the lab is to develop strategies to promote recovery of these affected behaviors after acute and chronic spinal cord injury.