The ultimate goal of the Laboratory is to translate the most tangible basic neuroscience discoveries into clinical therapies to improve function and impede major complications following SCI and other neurological disorders.
Innovative platform technology utilizing stem cells and synthetic materials revealed new neuromuscular therapeutic targets to reinstate sensorimotor function after spinal cord injury
We developed a unique technology to scaffold human mesenchymal stromal stem cells (hMSCs) for determining therapeutic targets in injured spinal cords. The biocompatible synthetic polymer-assisted hMSC transplantation produced robust functional recovery, reduced pain and tissue damage, and myelin preservation after experimental spinal cord trauma. The scaffolded hMSC implant benefited the propriospinal network, neuromuscular junction, and serotonergic reticulospinal reinnervation to activate the central pattern generator for restoring hindlimb locomotion. The results illuminate Recovery Neurobiology: the injured mammalian spinal cord, under proper treatment, can deploy polysynaptic neural circuits different from normal adulthood neuropathways for sensorimotor restoration