Dr. Brian Kwon appointed as new ICORD Director

Dr. Brian Kwon has been appointed Director of ICORD for a five-year term effective July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2029.

Dr. Kwon is a professor in the Department of Orthopaedics, an associate member of the School of Biomedical Engineering and the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, and previously served as Associate Director, Clinical Research at ICORD. He is Director of the UBC Spine Surgery Fellowship, and Director of Research for the Spine Research Program at Vancouver General Hospital, where he also practises as a spine surgeon.

As a surgeon and neuroscientist, Dr. Kwon is internationally recognized in the field of spinal cord injury and spine trauma. His research has shed new insights into the management of acute spinal cord injury and established biomarkers of injury severity. He also established and leads the International Spinal Cord Injury Biobank, which supports researchers from around the world to accelerate understanding and treatment of spinal cord injury.

Dr. Kwon holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Spinal Cord Injury and the Dvorak Chair in Spine Trauma. His contributions to the field have been recognized through numerous awards, including a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Tator-Turnbull Award and the inaugural Visionary Prize from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation.

In his role as Director, Dr. Kwon will spearhead ICORD’s efforts to advance research and training initiatives focused on the development and application of strategies and approaches to improve the lives of those who have suffered a spinal cord injury. His visionary leadership and expertise will empower ICORD to cultivate interdisciplinary collaborations, harness state-of-the-art technologies and uncover significant research breakthroughs that will lead the Centre to new heights of excellence.

Dr. Kwon’s appointment follows the interim leadership of Dr. John Kramer. We extend our sincere gratitude to Dr. Kramer for his dedication and leadership as interim Director, ensuring the seamless continuity of ICORD’s mission in alignment with the strategic objectives of the Faculty of Medicine and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute.