About Us

The Spinal Cord Research Centre (SCRC) consists of ten core laboratories dedicated exclusively to spinal cord research, eight laboratories housed in the Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology and two in Regenerative Medicine. These core investigators are joined by 12 affiliated researchers from six Departments or Schools at the University of Manitoba and over sixty research associates, post-doctoral fellows, students and support staff. We are located at the Bannatyne campus, next to the Health Sciences Centre, in downtown Winnipeg.

Mission

To provide an environment for world-class spinal cord research and training, through our leadership and expertise in the areas of locomotor control and spinal cord physiology from membrane properties to systems physiology, neuronal networks and regeneration.

Objectives

We are recognized as leaders in the field of locomotor control from membrane properties to systems physiology and neuronal networks and regeneration. We believe strongly that the restoration of function following injury requires a deep understanding of the function and organization of the uninjured spinal cord motor system. Therefore, it is of critical importance to continue with the SCRC’s original mechanistic research as it is the renowned strength of the SCRC. The SCRC’s research objectives will not deviate from the mechanistic research but over the next five years the SCRC will expand its research focus and operate with an integrated research and training strategy with three overlapping approaches: (1) Mechanistic Research, (2) Translational Research and (3) Neuroprotection, Repair, Regeneration & Cell Based Therapies, presented in detail in the SCRC 5-Year Research Objectives.

Purpose of this Site

This web site’s purpose is to inform prospective students and postdoctoral trainees, as well as others interested in spinal cord research, of the research underway at the Spinal Cord Research Centre.

Origin

When was the Spinal Cord Research Centre established?
The Spinal Cord Research Centre (SCRC) of Winnipeg was established as a partnership between the University of Manitoba, the Health Sciences Centre Research Foundation (now Health Sciences Centre Foundation) and the Canadian Paraplegic Association, Manitoba in 1987. The SCRC was in essence formal recognition of a successful effort by Dr. Larry Jordan, a leader in the neurophysiology of locomotion in the Department of Physiology, to assemble a highly interactive team of biomedical scientists with a common interest in spinal cord injury.

The SCRC was reviewed and approved by the Faculty of Medicine Research Committee, and its formation was announced on the occasion of Rick Hansen’s stop in Winnipeg on January 21, 1987 during his Man in Motion World Tour to raise funds for spinal cord research. The SCRC was given formal status as a research centre in the Faculty of Medicine in 2003 by the University of Manitoba Board of Governors.

Why was the SCRC established?
The SCRC was established to develop a spinal cord training program within the Department of Physiology and assist in the recruitment and retention of new clinical and basic science faculty and retention of their laboratories in the Faculty of Medicine.

Over the past few years the SCRC has expanded its research outside the confines of the Department of Physiology & Pathophysiology to include the Section of Rehabilitation Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Kinesiology and Recreation Management, as well as the Regenerative Medicine Program. Presently the SCRC consists of ten core laboratories (Drs. Chopek, Cowley, Eftekharpour, Fedirchuk, Gardiner, Jordan, Karimi, Nagy, Schmidt and Stecina), eight laboratories housed in the Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology and two core laboratories (Drs. Eftekharpour and Karimi) located in Regenerative Medicine. All are dedicated exclusively to spinal cord research. These core investigators are joined by 12 affiliated researchers from six Departments or Schools at the University of Manitoba and over sixty research associates, post-doctoral fellows, students and support staff.

Directors
Its current Director is Dr. Phillip Gardiner of the Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology. Previously the Centre was directed by Dr. David McCrea (2003-2016), Dr. Larry Jordan (1997-2003) and co-directed by Dr. Jordan and Dr Hyman Dubo of the Section of Rehabilitation Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine (1987-1997).

 

For more information:

SCRC in the News (Articles about us)

Training Opportunities in Spinal Cord Research

SCRC Trainee Awards & Distinctions

Areas of Expertise (by Principal Investigator)

Researchers’ Highlights