Five from UofL presenting at National Neurotrauma Society symposium

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Three faculty members holding endowed positions, an associate professor and an instructor from the University of Louisville Department of Neurological Surgery will share their expertise this summer at the annual meeting of one of the nation’s premiere organizations of brain and spinal cord injury specialists and researchers.

Neurotrauma 2015, the 33rd Annual Symposium of the National Neurotrauma Society, will be held in Santa Fe, N.M., June 28-July 1. The annual symposium is considered the primary scientific forum for exchanging information in the fields of both traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spinal cord injury (SCI).

On Sunday, June 28, associate professor Enrico Rejc, Ph.D., will present Lumbrosacral Spinal Cord Epidural Stimulation for Standing After Chronic Complete Paralysis in Humans. At UofL, Rejc investigates the effects of different combinations of stimulation parameters, weight-bearing related sensory information and training on the modulation of the spinal neural networks, with the intent to promote the recovery of motor function for standing.

On Monday, June 29, Scott Whittemore, Ph.D., will chair the presentation on Genetic Dissection of Locomotor Circuitry. Speaking during the presentation will be David Magnuson, Ph.D., on Conditional Silencing Propriospinal Neurons: Hopping to a New Tune.

Whittemore is the Dr. Henry D. Garretson Chair in Spinal Cord and Head Injury Research and the scientific director of the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, one of just 12 such centers in the nation. Magnuson is the Friends for Michael Endowed Chair in Spinal Cord Injury Research and also serves on the Symposium Program Committee organizing the 2015 event.

On Wednesday, July 1, Michal Hetman, M.D., Ph.D., will chair and Whittemore will co-chair the presentation, Cell Death is Still Alive, a look at the effect of cell death on TBI and SCI. Hetman is the Endowed Professor of Molecular Signaling and his research is concentrated on identification of the molecules controlling neural cell survival and  growth. Instructor Sujata Saraswat-Ohri, Ph.D., will present one of the three sessions of the presentation, Targeting the Homeostatic Arm of the ER Stress Pathway Improves Functional Recovery After SCI.

“The Neurotrauma Annual Symposium has informative discovery, translational and clinical sessions and workshops, as well as programs for students and early career investigators,” Whittemore said. “We are proud to bring the accomplishments of the University of Louisville into this discussion of the latest research and evidence-based medicine with our peers from throughout the country.”