I dream of the day that people suffering from spinal cord injuries (SCIs) will be restored to full function. The good news is there are researchers and dedicated centers that form the back-bone of SCI repair research.
I am excited and honored to be featuring Dr. Matthew Ramer for this month’s backstory. Matt is a member of ICORD (International Collaboration On Repair Discoveries) at the University of British Columbia. ICORD is an interdisciplinary research centre for the development of effective strategies to promote functional recovery after spinal cord injury. This includes the discovery and implementation of relevant solutions to improve functional recovery, mobility, community integration and quality of life for people with spinal cord injury.
Matt’s research focus is on the molecular biology of primary sensory nerve cells (neurons). These neurons are responible for sensation. These include touch, pain, temperature, etc. These neurons transmit sensation to the brain via the spinal cord. It is this transmission that enables us to process the sensation. Similar transmissions happen in the case of locomotion.
Matt’s research helps us better understand the mechanism of these transmissions. More importantly, his work includes finding ways to regenerate and repair neurons. These are steps in improving the outcome of sufferes of SCI.