News Archive

Halifax hosts 2013 Canadian Spinal Cord Conference

April 2013 - Spinal cord researchers from across Canada converged on Halifax in April 2013 to share their latest findings and new research directions in the pursuit of solutions to problems caused by damage to the spinal cord and its neural circuits. The successful event attracted leading scientists and clinicians, as well as a large contingent of trainees. Learn more about this leading scientific event.  

Mobility Project researchers discover spinal circuit for hand grip

April 2013 - Neurosurgeon and scientist Dr. Rob Brownstone and postdoctoral fellow Dr. Tuan Bui have identified the spinal cord circuit that controls the hand's ability to grasp. This breakthrough finding opens the door to the possibility of restoring hand function with treatments that target this spinal cord circuit. World-leading neuroscience journal, Neuron, published the researchers’ finding online on Wednesday, April 10, 2013.  

Dr. Rob Brownstone named Canada Research Chair

Fall 2012 - Dr. Rob Brownstone, a neuroscientist and neurosurgeon at Dalhousie Medical School in Halifax, NS, has been awarded a $1.4 million Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Spinal Cord Circuits. Canada Research Chairs are awarded to top researchers at universities in Canada who are conducting leading-edge research on issues of strategic importance to Canadians. Dr. Brownstone's award supports his groundbreaking work to understand the spinal cord networks that initiate and control movement. Click here to view his Canada Research Chair profile.

Dr. Victor Rafuse takes leadership role in Brain Repair Centre

2012 - A founding member of the Mobility Project, Dr. Victor Rafuse, has been named director of the Brain Repair Centre, based at Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS. In his new role, Dr. Rafuse will lead the development of new programs to support neuroscience research and innovation at Dalhousie, while strengthening the ties among neuroscience researchers throughout the university and beyond.

A professor in the Department of Medical Neuroscience at Dalhousie Medical School, Dr. Rafuse is known for his work to engineer stem cells into functional motor neurons for the potential treatment of nerve injuries and ALS.

Pregabalin prevents neuropathic pain after spinal cord injury

2012 Dalhousie Medical School scientist Dr. Daniel Marsh has shown that giving pregabalin after spinal cord injury before the onset of neuropathic pain effectively prevents neuropathic pain in a pre-clinical model. He will present these remarkable results at the Canadian Pain Society meeting in May 2012. Dr. Marsh's pre-clinical experiments back up clinical studies led by Dalhousie/Capital Health physiatrist Dr. Christine Short. She is working with Dalhousie/Capital Health spinal surgeon Dr. Sean Christie to see if giving pregabalin to spinal cord injury patients before the onset of neuropathic pain can prevent or reduce the severity of neuropathic pain. This pilot study received a rapid-response grant from the Rick Hansen Institute. Drs. Short, Christie and Marsh hope their results to date will allow them to expand the study into a multi-site clinical trial. Neuropathic pain affects roughly 40% of people with spinal cord injury. Difficult to treat once it sets in, it can lead to such serious problems as loss of work, depression and even suicide.

AMAP member inducted into Canadian Academy of Health Sciences

2012 The Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) has inducted Dr. Rob Brownstone into the ranks of its Fellows of the Academy. Dr. Brownstone is the second AMAP member to receive this honour Dr. Francoise Baylis was the first. Election to the Fellowship of the Academy is one of the highest honours in Canada's health sciences community and recognizes individuals for their extraordinary research excellence, leadership, commitment, creativity and record of accomplishment.