1. Spinal Cord Injury Recovery & Regeneration.
My aim is to promote recovery and regeneration after injury by giving antibodies to inhibitor proteins soon after injury to prevent damaged cells from dying. Antibodies also promote regeneration of cord tissue and improve function in arms, legs and bladder. Restoring these functions is important for patients and we tailor our treatment to patients. We can combine antibodies with another strategy based on our novel discovery that spinal cord stem cells are resistant to glutamate, a naturally occurring toxic chemical which accumulates in the cord after injury. We found a way to enhance the ability of stem cells to provide replacements for the damaged cells.
2. Improved Diagnosis and Treatment of Concussions in Humans.
I am Director of the TWH-based Canadian Concussion Centre. This clinical research team uses artificial intelligence, clinical neurological evaluation, blood and CSF biomarkers, eye movement tracking, imaging with MRI, MEG and PET, and neuropsychological and neuropathological biomarkers to improve diagnosis and treatment of persisting concussion symptoms, mental health including anxiety, depression, PTSD, and chronic traumatic brain degeneration (CTE). Current studies include accelerated return to work after concussion and prevention of concussion in motor vehicle occupants. Our brain donation program targets retired professional athletes and others with repetitive concussions suspected of CTE.