My research focuses on translational investigations and bridging the gap between basic science, clinical science, and the public community living with SCI. I recently completed a multi-center clinical study evaluating the reliability and validity of the Spinal Cord Independence Measure in the US healthcare setting and am currently focusing on issues specific to chronic injury.
My previous research has focused on translational investigations and bridging the gap between basic science, clinical science, and the public community living with spinal cord injury (SCI). My training spans the spectrum of SCI research, from cellular and molecular studies as a graduate student, to whole animal and behavioral studies as a post-doctoral fellow, to human clinical research as a faculty member. This breadth of knowledge is a great attribute in my role as the scientific interface to the public for the diverse array of cutting-edge research being conducted at The Miami Project. In 2008, I completed a comprehensive certification program for Clinical Trials: Medical Device and Drug Development, which has enabled me to be directly involved in developing the clinical trial programs involving Schwann cells that The Miami Project is pursuing.
A special perspective that I bring to the SCI research field is that I also hava a spinal cord injury. When I was seventeen years old I was involved in a motor vehicle accident that left me with quadriplegic paralysis from a cervical spinal cord injury. After graduating from high school without delay, I went on to college at Texas A&M University and graduate school at the University of New Mexico. I have received numerous awards, including the Khatali Award for Outstanding Senior Graduate Student, a NIH National Research Service Award as a post-doctoral fellow, and the Paul H. Silverman Award for Outstanding Work on Science and Ethics in 2005. I was awarded the Stephen Aroff Memorial Award in 2004 and the Jerry Stein Independent Living Award in 2006 for being a role model in the SCI community, and I was inducted into the SCI Hall of Fame in 2007.