Current Projects

LABORATORY PROJECTS

Identify optimal epidural stimulation parameters to improve walking after paralysis

This project aims at identifying the most optimal stimulation parameters to enhance stepping after paralysis. In effect, we elucidate the neuronal networks and electrophysiological mechanisms underlying stepping behavior in spinal rats.

Neuromodulation of cervical networks to improve hand function after paralysis

More than 60% of all spinal cord injuries (SCI) are associated with severe impairment of arm and hand function. Persons with a cervical SCI show obvious functional dependence for activities of daily living, which in turn severely deteriorates their quality of life. Currently, no therapeutic interventions exist to overcome these deficits. In this project we utilize a combination of forelimb rehabilitation and epidural stimulation (ES) to “excite” and electrically enable neurons in the cervical cord to evoke motor function.

Identification of neuronal networks for different motor tasks

Using electrophysiological techniques, results of our recent work suggests that a multifunctional network of neurons can control fundamentally similar motor tasks. Here, we further address this issue and identify interneuronal populations that are differentially activated during different locomotor behaviors in rodents.

RESEARCH COLLABORATIONS

Our lab has collaborations with research laboratories in the Departments of Neurobiology; Medicine; and Health & Technology at the Stony Brook University.