B.Sc. (Queen’s University), Ph.D. (Queen’s University), Post-Doctoral Fellowship (King’s College London)
Associate Professor, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of British Columbia
Research InterestsPain; Plasticity; Regeneration; Sensory neurons; spinal cord injury; Sympathetic neurons
Dr. Ramer’s research focuses on sensory neurons by examining how low sensory information works at the spinal cord level, how signals are processed to transmit pain and manage locomotion, how sensory fibres can reconnect with the spinal cord after injury, and how uninjured fibres compensate for damaged ones. He also looks at whether exercise and growth factors can be used to improve recovery. Another major area of his work is in the profound changes in the sympathetic nervous system after spinal cord injury.
Dr. Ramer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Zoology at the University of British Columbia and a Principal Investigator at ICORD. He completed both his B.Sc. and his Ph.D. at Queen’s University. His Post-Doctoral Fellowship was at King’s College London.
Dr. Ramer’s research aims to find ways of promoting recovery which is not directly related to locomotion: recovery from pain due to damaged nerves, improved bladder and bowel control, and normalization of blood pressure.
He enjoys working at ICORD because it allows him to focus on his research in an extraordinary facility.
Dr. Ramer works with Dr. Andrei Krassioukov on researching the relationship between exercise and autonomic function.
He also collaborates with Dr. Jaimie Borisoff on examining the change in knee-jerk reflex after SCI, so that patients with SCI always have a large reflex response.
Dr. Ramer’s research has identified a growth factor which appears in the spinal cord after SCI and prevents regeneration and plasticity. These effects are negative, but having identified the specific growth factor gives Dr. Ramer and others a target for later research.
Dr. Ramer has also discovered a new organelle in sympathetic neurons.
For more of Dr. Ramer’s major findings, please see the selected publications below, as well as his recent publications listed at the bottom of the page:
- A new organellar complex in rat sympathetic neurons
- Schwann cell p75NTR prevents spontaneous sensory reinnervation of the adult spinal cord
- Altered primary afferent anatomy and reduced thermal sensitivity in mice lacking galectin-1
- Regulation of neuronal and glial galectin-1 expression by peripheral and central axotomy of rat primary afferent neurons
- Spinally upregulated noggin suppresses axonal and dendritic plasticity following dorsal rhizotomy
- Functional regeneration of sensory axons into the adult spinal cord
Some of Dr. Ramer’s recent major awards and accomplishments include:
- ROAD Undergraduate Mentorship Award (UBC Research Opportunities and Director 2008)
- CIHR New Investigator Award (CIHR, 2006-2011)
- Senior Scholar Award (MSFHR, 2001-2006 and 2006-2011)
- Spinal Cord Prize (International Spinal Cord Society (2000)
Current Lab Members
|Undergraduate Students||Masters Students||Ph.D. Students||Research Staff|
|Maria Koh||Bridget Bethell||Seth Holland||Brittney Smaila|
|Zafirah Razak||Erin Erskine||Mandy Wong|
|Nana Okraku-Yirenkyi||Jessica LiuTrainee Awards|
Techniques employed in the lab:
- Behavioural analysis
- Behavioural models
- Light, confocal, and electron microscopy
Affiliation with organizations and societies:
- Society for Neuroscience member
Current Opportunities in the Lab
There are currently no openings in Dr. Ramer’s lab. Please contact Dr. Ramer with inquiries.
- Bohic, M et al.. 2023. A new Hoxb8FlpO mouse line for intersectional approaches to dissect developmentally defined adult sensorimotor circuits.. Front Mol Neurosci. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2023.1176823.
- Holland, SD, Ramer, MS. 2023. Microglial activating transcription factor 3 upregulation: An indirect target to attenuate inflammation in the nervous system.. Front Mol Neurosci. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2023.1150296.
- Fossey, MPM et al.. 2022. Spinal cord injury impairs cardiac function due to impaired bulbospinal sympathetic control.. Nat Commun. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-29066-1.
- Smaila, BD et al.. 2020. Systemic hypoxia mimicry enhances axonal regeneration and functional recovery following peripheral nerve injury.. Exp Neurol. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2020.113436.
- Liu, J et al.. 2020. A Cervical Spinal Cord Hemi-Contusion Injury Model Based on Displacement Control in Non-Human Primates (Macaca fascicularis).. J Neurotrauma. doi: 10.1089/neu.2019.6822.