Dr. Andrei Krassioukov

Dr. Andrei Krassioukov-headshot

Principal Investigator

M.D. (Volgograd State Medical School), Ph.D. (Ivan Pavlov Institute of Physiology), FRCPC (University of British Columbia)
Professor, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia
Chair in Rehabilitation Research, ICORD
Associate Director, Rehabilitation Research, ICORD
Director, ICORD Autonomic Research Unit
Staff physician, Spinal Cord Program, GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre
Adjunct Professor, Departments of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Western Ontario
Chair of International Autonomic Standards Committee, ASIA/ISCOS

Research Interests

; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

Click here for information on the Paralympic Research Project

Click here to visit the CHOICES Project website

Click here to visit the ABC of Autonomic Dysreflexia website

Click here for information about the 5th International Autonomic Symposium, Women’s Health after SCI

Click here to visit PleasureABLE: Sexual Device Manual for Persons with Disabilities

Register for Dr. Krassioukov’s accredited “Autonomic Dysfunctions and Autonomic Monitoring Following Spinal Cord Injury” course

Dr. Andrei Krassioukov is a clinician-researcher devoted to helping people with SCI maintain their cardiovascular health. His focus is on a condition commonly known as autonomic dysreflexia (AD), a condition familiar to the majority of individuals with SCI as well as their caregivers. It is characterized as ranging from unpleasant to debilitating episodes of increased arterial blood pressure that can be commonly introduced by very simple stimuli, such as a tight belt or inappropriate wheelchair positioning. Without timely recognition and management the condition can complicate and lead to life-threatening situations.

Dr. Krassioukov is the Associate Director of Rehabilitation Research for ICORD. He is also a Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of British Columbia, and a physician in the Spinal Cord Program at Vancouver Coastal Health’s GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre. He obtained his M.D. from Volgograd State Medical School, Russia, and his Ph.D. from Ivan Pavlov Institute of Physiology, Russian Academy of Science, St. Petersburg, Russia. He is President of the American Spinal Injury Association (2019-2021).

Dr. Krassioukov feels that if we can understand, through research and education, why the condition develops in people with SCI, then we can help manage the condition for the SCI community as a whole. What we learn from lab experiments help us to bring knowledge to clinical practice; we learn how to manage this life-threatening problem and how to assist paramedics and doctors in the emergency room, people in the forefront of acute SCI management.

The ability to combine clinical work with basic science and research is the true success of ICORD. Being able to collaborate with colleagues with multidisciplinary areas of expertise is extremely important for success in SCI research, and therefore also to Dr. Krassioukov.

“Sometimes I hear that SCI is an end-of-life experience for some people,” said Dr. Krassioukov. “Yes, it is bad, but I am inspired and astounded by many of my patients, my research participants and the paralympians I was able to interact with during the last three Paralympic Games. The International Olympic Committee invited me and my students to conduct research on autonomic dysreflexia during the games, a condition common to individuals with SCI, and one that frequently causes significant disadvantage for paralympians during the competition.” Presently, Dr. Krassioukov’s team is looking forward to the 2012 London Paralympic Games, where they will help with education and research as part of a cardiovascular clinic. The main goal of the research is to give all athletes an even playing field.

Currently recruiting for:

FashionABLE: Adaptive fashion guide for the people, by the people with SCI

Researchers in Dr. Krassioukov’s lab are inviting people with SCI and health care professionals involved in the care of individuals with SCI to share their current perspectives and practices related to adaptive clothing. Our study includes a 30-minute web-based survey Read More...

Retinal vascular changes of autonomic dysreflexia in traumatic SCI

Characterizing retinal vascular changes of autonomic dysreflexia in traumatic spinal cord injury to inform early automated detection via deep learning Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major secondary complication of spinal cord injury (SCI). Therefore, prevention and early diagnosis of CVD Read More...

Effects of non-invasive spinal cord stimulation on bladder, bowel, and sexual function in people with SCI

Researchers in Dr. Andrei Krassioukov’s laboratory are investigating the effects of non-invasive (transcutaneous) spinal cord stimulation (TCSCS) on bladder, bowel, and sexual function in people with SCI. They are interested in both the immediate effects of non-invasive stimulation on these Read More...

Randomized control trial: activity-based therapy with non-invasive stimulation

Motor and Autonomic Concomitant Health Improvements with Neuromodulation and Exoskeleton training: an RCT in individuals with SCI (MACHINE) Drs. Andrei Krassioukov, Tania Lam, Mike Berger, and Stacy Elliott and their teams are investigating the effects of activity-based therapy (ABT) with Read More...

Burden of intermittent catheterization

Researchers in Dr. Andrei Krassioukov’s lab are interested in exploring the effect of intermittent catheterization in the health of individuals with SCI, specifically in regards to the presence of urinary tract infections (UTIs) and episodes of autonomic dysreflexia (AD). Complications Read More...

Dr. Matthias Walter (standing), a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Krassioukov’s lab, works with Drs. Nader Fallah and Vanessa Noonan of the Rick Hansen Institute, on a project to reexamine evidence of urinary tract infections in people with SCI. (click on photo for more information)

Recent Collaborations:

As Principal Investigator on a recently awarded CIHR team grant, Dr. Krassioukov will be working with four major SCI research and rehabilitation centres (Vancouver, Toronto, Hamilton, and Winnipeg), focused on cardiovascular health in individuals with chronic SCI: locomotor training, education, and knowledge translation. For more information on this research click here.

Dr. Krassioukov is involved with educating healthcare providers, physicians, and paramedics, to diagnose, treat and prevent AD, which in turn will reduce the number of hospital days for these patients. This represents an enormous cost saving as well as a large improvement in the lives of individuals coping with AD. This work will give emergency room physicians and paramedics a set of guidelines and education for dealing with AD. He is working with Drs. Susan Harkema of the Frazier Rehab Institute in Louisville, Kentucky, Larry Vogel of Shriners Hospitals for Children in Chicago, Illinois, and Stephen Williams of the Boston Medical Center.

Major Findings:

Dr. Krassioukov with patient at GF Strong

(L – R) Dr. Andrei Krassioukov with Dean Stoney, working on cardiovascular health on an arm ergometer.

Dr. Krassioukov’s basic and clinical research has been focused on AD following SCI for more than 20 years. He has developed a multi-disciplinary laboratory that is now internationally known for numerous basic science and clinical innovations in the area of AD following SCI. This serious complication of SCI was unrecognized until recently; twenty years ago, reviewers of his first grant studying the effect of SCI on the cardiovascular system believed that people with SCI didn’t need to worry about cardiovascular disease, and that the only focus should be on curing paralysis. Today, autonomic dysfunction is recognized as a major avoidable cause of morbidity in people with SCI, and is even used, at great risk, by athletes with SCI to give them a competitive advantage in paralympic sports.

He has pioneered the development of several tools that put research knowledge directly in the hands of those who could most benefit people with SCI, including the creation of a novel education tool for first responders (i.e. paramedics, EMTs), and PleasureAble: a free resource on sexual devices and adaptations for people with SCI, funded by DHRN, a MSFHR Health of Population network. These tools and resources are practical solutions to information gaps that put patients at risk and prevent full enjoyment and quality of life for people with SCI.

As a Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, Dr. Krassioukov’s teaching philosophy is to foster critical thinking, creativity, and independence so that students will acquire crucial skills which will prepare them for any job in the future. His strong commitment to mentoring the next generation of clinicians and researchers drives his work as primary supervisor of several trainees. During the last 20 years of his academic career, Dr. Krassioukov has supervised or co-supervised more than 20 graduate students, and what gratifies him most as their supervisor and teacher is to see their success.

Techniques employed in the labs:

  • Human electrophysiology
  • Immunochemistry, histology, microscopy
  • Telemetry for continuous blood pressure and heart rate monitoring

Affiliation with organizations and societies:

  • American Paraplegia Society (APS)
  • President, American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA)
  • Board of Directors Member, American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA)
  • Canadian Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (CAPM&R)
  • International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS)

Awards

Some of Dr. Krassioukov’s recent major awards and accomplishments include:

  • Dr. Meridith Marks Award for Excellence in Education (Canadian Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2020)
  • Top 5 Downloaded Articles, Published in J Neurotrauma in 2019 for “Epidural Spinal Cord Stimulation Facilitates Immediate Restoration of Dormant Motor and Autonomic Supraspinal Pathways after Chronic Neurologically Complete Spinal Cord Injury” (doi: https://doi.org/10.1089/neu.2018.6006)
  • Top Cited Articles, Published in Spinal Cord in 2017 for “Movement repetitions in physical and occupational therapy during spinal cord injury rehabilitation” (Spinal Cord (2017) 55, 172-179; doi: 10.1038/sc.2016.129)
  • Endowed Chair in Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Research (ICORD/UBC, 2014)
  • Bronze in the categories of Healthcare and Training for the ABC of Autonomic Dysreflexia (Horizon Interactive Awards, 2014)
  • Apple Award for excellence in publishing spinal cord injury literature in neurology (ASIA, 2013)
  • Jayanthi Lectureship Award (American Academy of SCI Professionals, 2013)
  • Commemorative Medal and Diploma for the Organization of the Cardiovascular Educational Clinic at the 2012 London Summer Paralympic Games (International Paralympic Committee, 2012)
  • Fellow (Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, 2012)
  • Scientific Achievement Award in recognition of outstanding contribution to the hospital (Vancouver Acute, 2010)
  • Commemorative Medal and Diploma for the Organization of the Cardiovascular Educational Clinic at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Paralympic Games (International Paralympic Committee, 2010)
  • Inaugural Alan T. Brown Foundation Research Award (ASIA, 2009)
  • 1st place in Research Contest (Canadian Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2005)
  • Best Podium Presentation at the annual meeting (Canadian Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2005)
  • Best manuscript in the area of SCI (ASIA, 2003)

Current Lab Members

Undergraduate Students Masters Students Ph.D. Students Medical Students Research Staff
Tami Kalimullina Rachel Lai Abdullah Alrashidi* Karthik Gopalakrishnan Andrea Maharaj
Sau Ching Honor Cheung Shane Balthazaar* Belinda Yee Laura McCracken
Ali Hosseinzadeh Frances Clayton Carolyn Barakso
Bessie He James Lawson Rocher Rahul Sachdeva
Liz Geum Mark Cahalan Jennifer Phan
Lily Wolak Lauren Rietchel Kira Pawar
Marco Law Hannah Matheson
Aliza Hirsch Mark Grasdal
Whitley Sheehan
Katherine Gray
Rory McKerchar
Adam Mesa

*graduated in the past year

Dr. Krassioukov also has two residents and four emergency residents at Vancouver General Hospital.

Trainee Awards

Year Trainee Award
2020 Dr. Kiran Pawar (TroHNS) award in spinal cord injury research, American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) 2020
2020 Karthik Gopalakrishnan
  • John Steeves Award (Undergrad), ICORD ARM 2020
2020 Dr. Tom Nightingale
  • Editors choice and published Journal Cover, “A cross-sectional comparison between cardiorespiratory fitness, level of lesion and red blood cell distribution width in adults with chronic spinal cord injury”, Published in Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport
2019 Dr. Rahul Sachdeva
  • CIHR Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • MSFHR Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Bluma Tischler Postdoctoral Fellowship: Faculty of Medicine, UBC
  • First place for Oral Presentation, American Spinal Injury Association Annual Meeting
  • Gordon Hiebert Award for Best Postdoctoral Fellow Poster, ICORD Annual Research Meeting
  • National Neurotrauma Society Travel Award, Neurotrauma
  • Travel Award: American Spinal Injury Association
  • Travel Award: BC Regeneration Medicine Network (BCREGMED)
  • Dr. Krassioukov International Autonomic Award, ICORD Trainee Symposium 2019
  • ICORD Trainee travel award
Dr. Tom Nightingale
  • Postdoctoral Trainee Award, Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health Innovation Fund
  • Trainee Travel Award, American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA)
  • Annual ICORD Trainee Symposium poster award winner in senior category
2018 Dr. Rahul Sachdeva
  • Invitation and travel to present at Board of Directors meeting, Craig H. Neilsen Foundation (Recognition and travel support)
  • Second place for Best Oral Presentation, American Spinal Injury Association
  • Gordon Hiebert Award for Best Postdoctoral Fellow Poster, ICORD Annual Research Meeting
  • Best overall Podium Presentation, Eighth Annual G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre Rehabilitation Research Day
  • Second Place for Best Poster Presentation, 16th Annual Genomics Forum “Advancing Health Outcomes”, Genome British Columbia
  • Dr. Krassioukov International Autonomic Award, Eighth Annual G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre Rehabilitation Research Day
  • Dr. Krassioukov International Autonomic Award, ICORD Trainee Symposium 2018
  • ICORD Trainee Travel Award
  • Travel Award: BC Regeneration Medicine Network (BCREGMED)
  • Honorable Mention: Dr. Chris Willie Graduate Prize for excellence in research
Dr. Tom Nightingale
  • MSFHR Trainee Award
  • ICORD Trainee Travel Award
  • UBC Physical Activity and Precision Health Cluster Trainee Travel Award
  • Second place poster presentation, UBC Postdoc Research Day
  • Second place Post-Doctoral Student Podium Presentation, 9th Annual Rehabilitation Research Day (GF Strong)
  • Annual ICORD Trainee Symposium poster award winner in senior category
2017 Andrea Ramirez
  • Spinal Cord Award for Staff Excellence in Service at the ICORD’s SCI symposium in honor of the retirement of founding director Dr. John Steeves ($500)
Arshdeep Marwaha
  • UBC Faculty of Science Research Award for Travel ($750)
Dr. Rahul Sachdeva
  • Best Oral Presentation – Experimental Biology Annual Meeting
  • Best poster presentation: UBC Postdoc Research Day
  • Best postdoctoral fellow poster: GF Strong Rehabilitation Research Day
  • Second Best Oral Presentation – ICORD International Autonomic Symposium
2016 Dr. Aaron Phillips
  • Killam Post-doctoral Research Prize (UBC)
  • International Early Career Physiology Award (American Physiological Society)
Andrew Round
  • 1st place, Medical Student Essay Contest (Canadian Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation)
Jordan Squair
  • Aaron Moser Award for Best Poster Presentation at the Doctoral Student Level (ICORD)
  • Killam Doctoral Scholarship (UBC)
Dr. Rahul Sachdeva
  • ICORD Trainee Travel Award
2015 Dr. Katharine Currie
  • Best Doctoral Poster at 6th Annual GF Strong Rehabilitation Research Day
  • 3rd place Best Poster by a Post-doctoral level Trainee at 2015 ICORD Annaul Research Meeting
Dr. Aaron Phillips
  • Craig H. Neilson Foundation – Postdoctoral Fellowship (Ranked 1st in Competition)
  • American Physiological Society Cardiovascular Section Research Recognition Award
  • 1st place, Gordon Hiebert Prize for best poster (ICORD Annual Research Meeting)
  • Best Overall Podium Presentation – GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre Annual Research Day
  • Best Postdoctoral Fellow Podium Presentation – GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre Annual Research Day
  • 1st place, best oral presentation at 3rd International Autonomic Symposium
David Popok
  • 1st place for Best Poster Presentation at the 3rd Annual Autonomic Symposium
Jordan Squair
  • Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship (Canadian Institutes of Health Research)
  • Doctoral Fellowship (UBC)
  • Doctoral Fellowship Tuition Award (UBC)
  • Faculty of Medicine Graduate Award (UBC)
  • Best Poster Presentation – 1st Honourable Mention (UBC Clinican Investigator Program Annual Research Fellows Day)
  • Best Podium Presentation – 2nd Prize (3rd International Autonomic Symposium, ICORD)
  • Trainee Travel Award (ICORD)
  • ICORD Staff Award – 3rd Prize (ICORD)
Mei Mu Zi (Annie) Zheng
  • CIHR CGS-Masters Student Award 2015/2016
  • 1st place for the W.L. McLeod Award for best poster by Undergraduate/Master’s students (ICORD Annual Research Meeting)
  • Best poster in the categories of Heart/Lung/Others at the FEST 2015 Heart + Lung Health Scientific Symposium (Institute for Heart and Lung Health)
Michelle Jia
  • 3rd place, best poster presentation at 3rd International Autonomic Symposium
2014 Michael Berger
  • 1st place, Medical Student Essay Contest (Canadian Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation)
Michèle Hubli
  • Advanced Postdoc Mobility Fellowship (Swiss National Science Foundation
Dr. Katharine Currie
  • Craig H. Neilsen Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship (2 years)
  • 2nd Place Best Presentation, 2014 ICORD Trainee Symposium
Dr. Aaron Phillips
  • Research Fellowship – Focus on Stroke (The Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada/Canadian Stroke Network)
  • Postdoctoral Trainee Fellowship (Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council) [Declined]
Dr. Christopher West
  • Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation/Sell Fund of ASIA Young Investigator Award
2013 Katharine Currie
  • Heart and Stroke Foundation Research Fellowship (2 years; declined)
  • 2nd Place for Oral Presentations (2nd International Symposium on Autonomic Dysfunctions Following Spinal Cord Injury)
Michèle Hubli
  • Best Oral Presentation Award (4th Annual GF Strong Rehab Centre Rehabilitation Research Day)
  • 3rd Place for Oral Presentations (2nd International Symposium on Autonomic Dysfunctions Following Spinal Cord Injury)
Dr. Aaron Phillips
  • Trainee Award (Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research)
Darryl Wan
  • 1st place, Medical Student Essay Contest (Canadian Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation)
Dr. Christopher West
  • Postdoctoral Trainee Fellowship (Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research)
  • 1st Place for Oral Presentations (2nd International Symposium on Autonomic Dysfunctions Following Spinal Cord Injury)
2012 Melissa Pak
  • Oral Presentation recognized for excellence at the ASIA Annual Conference
Dr. Christopher West
  • Two-Year Post-Doctoral Fellowship (Government of Canada)

Current Opportunities In the Lab

Dr. Andrei Krassioukov is looking for two postdoctoral research fellows, one with an interest in clinical or experimental research in cardiovascular and autonomic dysfunctions following SCI (see job description), and one with an interest in neuroscience, cardiovascular and vascular biology (see job description)

Videos

Dr. Andrei Krassiuokov speaks about the CHOICES Project.

Dr. Andrei Krassioukov and post-doctoral fellow Dr. Aaron Phillips deliver a presentation on autonomic dysreflexia and spinal cord injury.

Dr. Andrei Krassioukov gives an overview of the field of cardiovascular diseases following SCI and his research in that field.

Watch Dr. Andrei Krassioukov’s Café Scientifique talk on the cardiovascular health of Paralympic athletes.

A stimulating conversation with Dr. Andrei Krossioukov with Unite 2 Fight Paralysis. In this podcast they talk with him about spinal stimulation to seek recovery of autonomic functions for chronic spinal cord injury: bowel, bladder, seal function, blood pressure regulation.

Highlighted Publications

A cross-sectional comparison between cardiorespiratory fitness, level of lesion and red blood cell distribution width in adults with chronic spinal cord injury

Published on the 2020 February cover of Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.

JSAMS Cover featuring article by Tom Nightingale
Cognitive function after spinal cord injury: A systematic review.

In the news.

The good, the bad and the ugly of catheterization practices among elite athletes with spinal cord injury: a global perspective
Rigid and remodelled: cerebrovascular structure and function after experimental high-thoracic spinal cord transection

Published on 15 March 2016 in The Journal of Physiology, Volume 594, Issue 6.

Journal of Physiology

Recent publications

  • Shackleton, C et al.. 2022. May I Have This Dance: A Case-Series on the Acute Cardiometabolic Demand of Wheelchair Dancing in Recreational Dancers with Spinal Cord Injury.. Med Probl Perform Art. doi: 10.21091/mppa.2022.4035.
  • Sarafis, ZK et al.. 2022. Common carotid artery responses to the cold-pressor test are impaired in individuals with cervical spinal cord injury.. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00261.2022.
  • Shackleton, C et al.. 2022. When the whole is greater than the sum of its parts: a scoping review of activity-based therapy paired with spinal cord stimulation following spinal cord injury.. J Neurophysiol. doi: 10.1152/jn.00367.2022.
  • Walter, M et al.. 2022. Fesoterodine Ameliorates Autonomic Dysreflexia while Improving Lower Urinary Tract Function and Urinary Incontinence-Related Quality of Life in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury: A Prospective Phase IIa Study.. J Neurotrauma. doi: 10.1089/neu.2022.0333.
  • Mesa, A et al.. 2022. Effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals with spinal cord injury: Mental health and use of telehealth.. PM R. doi: 10.1002/pmrj.12900.
Search PubMed