Charles H Tator, PhD, MD

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Acute spinal cord and brain injury: in the clinical setting and in the experimental laboratory

Our clinical research involves studies of the acute management of traumatic spinal cord injury, ischemic lesions and demyelinating lesions and brain injuries, especially the concussion spectrum of disorders. I am a principal investigator in the Christopher Reeve Foundation program "North American Clinical Trial Network (NACTN)". NACTN is investigating new clinical treatments for patients with spinal cord injury, and I am a member of this organization's consortium and board.

I am the Project Director of the Canadian Sports Concussion Project at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre, Toronto Western Hospital. The Canadian Sports Concussion Project is conducting several research studies on concussion disorders, funded by the Ontario Brain Institute.

New treatment methods are being examined as part of national and international clinical trials. My studies also involve the epidemiology of sports and recreational injuries to the brain and spine, and research into the effectiveness of injury prevention programs. These are performed as part of ThinkFirst Canada (now Parachute Canada).

In the field of experimental spinal cord injury, I have developed several models of acute compression injury of the spinal cord and several quantifiable outcome measures. Various blood flow and angiographic techniques have been used to study post-traumatic ischemia.

I have examined endogenous and transplanted stem/progenitor cells in the spinal cord. A variety of neurotrophic factors and other agents have been examined in rodent spinal cord injury.

We have studied the survival, migration and differentiation of endogenous and transplanted adult rat spinal cord ependymal region stem/progenitor cells generated in vitro from neurospheres. We have shown the effects of trasnplanting these cells in the adult rodent spinal cord. We are also examining a number of bioengineering strategies involving guidance channels and drug delivery systems for axonal regeneration.

Recently, we have accomplished the culturing and transplantation of human adult spinal cord derived stem cells into rats with spinal cord injury.

For a list of Dr. Tator's publications, please visit PubMed or Scopus.

Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto