Scott R. Whittemore

Dr. Henry D. Garretson Chair in Spinal Cord and Head Injury Research

School of Medicine

Scott R. Whittemore, Ph.D., is a professor and vice-chair for research in the School of Medicine's Department of Neurological Surgery. He is the scientific director of the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center (KSCIRC).

Whittemore’s research is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Kentucky Spinal Cord and Head Injury Research Trust. In addition to being the principal investigator on two major research grants from the NIH, he is program director of KSCIRC’s $10.4 million Center of Biomedical Research Excellence grant, renewed in 2005 for an additional five years by the NIH.

He is studying molecular and cellular techniques to repair spinal cord injuries, with an emphasis on combined strategies aimed at restoring function. His work in the laboratory and in animal models focuses on replacement of lost neurons, regeneration of nervous tissue (axons), regeneration of the protective coating (myelin) that insulates the nervous system, and making new blood vessels grow.

Whittemore has served as an editorial board member or reviewer for 30 journals and has published over 130 papers and book chapters. He serves on the editorial boards of Experimental Neurology, the Journal of Neuroscience, Stem Cells, and the Journal of Neuroscience Research.

A 1982 graduate of the University of Vermont College of Medicine where he earned a doctorate in physiology and biophysics, Whittemore completed postdoctoral fellowships in psychobiology at the University of California, Irvine and in medical genetics at Uppsala University in Sweden.

After joining the faculty of the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1986 Whittemore became a professor of neurological surgery there in 1997.He was one of the initial principal investigators of a community research project known as the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, which began in 1986.He joined the medical faculty at U of L in 1998.