Brent Fedirchuk, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Physiology & Pathophysiology
University of Manitoba
- 410 BMSB
- Dr. Brent Fedirchuk obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba, in the Department of Physiology in 1994. He did postdoctoral work with Dr. Hans Hultborn in Copenhagen from 1993-1995, and with Dr. Michael O Donovan at the National Institutes of Health (U.S.A.) during 1995-1996. He returned to the University of Manitoba in 1996 as a Research Associate, and became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology in July 2000.
- Dr. Fedirchuk’s research program is directed at how the electrical properties of spinal nerve cells are altered in preparation for a motor output. There is accumulating evidence, much of it from work done within our Spinal Cord Research Centre, that the properties of nerve cells innervating skeletal muscle (motoneurons) are altered during a behaviour like locomotion. Recently, it was found that the threshold properties of these neurons is altered; they become more excitable once locomotion has been initiated. Dr. Fedirchuk’s research program is aimed at determining the mechanism(s) underlying this modulation, and how the output of the spinal motor circuitry is affected. These mechanisms are likely used by the mammalian spinal cord to select appropriate portions of the motor circuitry for activation during a particular motor task. Knowledge of these cellular and pharmacological mechanisms could have important ramifications on treatment strategies designed to optimize motor function after spinal cord injury or degenerative disease.
- Areas of Expertise
- Electrical properties of motoneurons, modulation during locomotion, spinal motor circuitry.
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