Research Overview

The spinal cord injury laboratory, directed by Arthur Jenkins, M.D., Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, is working to develop treatments that will ultimately be used on paraplegic and quadriplegic spinal cord injured patients. The goal is to develop a model where the subjects are able to utilize their otherwise unresponsive limbs with the hope of making the patients fully independent. Working with Dr. Jenkins is Senior Scientist, Stanislaw Sobotka, Ph.D. Taking advantage of computer technology, surgical techniques and their understanding of the nervous system, they are using the latest in microelectrode technology, electronic implants, to electronically bypass the spinal cord lesion. This will essentially create an electronic nervous system and reconnect the nerves that are still functional (but not in communication with the brain) in the patients' extremities.

In addition, under a collaboration with the Brookhaven National Laboratories in Long Island, Dr. Jenkins and Dr. Sobotka are working with Dr. Avraham Dilmanian Ph.D. to develop new treatments for acute or chronic spinal cord injury utilizing high energy microscopic beams of radiation to prevent the scar that forms within an area of spinal cord injury that normally acts as a barrier to regeneration of axons across the area of injury.