ICORD researchers will be joining with other eminent faculty from within Canada and the US to present Curing Spinal Cord Injury: The Need for Global Collaboration at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Vancouver. This meeting brings together approximately 8000 scientists from around the globe.
Spinal cord injury (SCI) remains an unsolved problem, exacting a tremendous burden on over 1.3 million injured people and their families in North America. Modern treatments for people with acute SCI have improved over the past 25 years, but there remains no cure for the injured spinal cord, and people living with SCI are confronted with significant medical complications secondary to the injury. This symposium will address the need for global collaboration to further improve the condition of people living with SCI and eventually develop cures. The critical role of basic science research to solve these complex problems will be emphasized, and the potential for stem cells in the treatment of SCI will be highlighted. The challenges in the clinical application of basic science discoveries will be presented along with a presentation of an exciting new spinal cord injury registry that promises to be a key research platform for the future. The application of novel therapies in this field brings up many ethical issues, and they will be discussed amidst the presentation of possible solutions for the global collaboration.
Naomi Kleitman, NIH Global Cooperation and Support of SCI Research