About the Center

The Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center (KSCIRC)

 One of twelve spinal cord injury research centers in the U.S., the Center was opened in 2001 and is in close proximity to the three major hospitals of the UofL Health Science Center. It is located in the newly renovated contiguous space in the Medical Dental Research Building.



To develop successful spinal cord repair strategies in the laboratory that can be taken to the clinic in a timely and responsible fashion

Headshot of Dr. Scott Whittemore


KSCIRC is led by Scientific Director Scott R. Whittemore, Ph.D., who is committed to further developing it into a world-class scientific and clinical Research Center.

Moving forward:

The Center's growth has been made possible by funding and excellent cooperation between the State of Kentucky, University of Louisville and Norton Healthcare, and a recent $5.5 Million grant from NIH. KSCIRC is in a unique position to conduct research that, through our close association with our clinical colleagues in the Department of Neurological Surgery, we expect will ultimately lead to effective treatments for spinal cord injury. This goal will be facilitated by our plan to double the size and scientific impact of the Center over the next five years.

Promising Research

Exciting areas of research are being investigated and include:

  • Preventing neuronal and axonal loss after spinal injury
  • Promoting regeneration of functioning sensory and motor pathways after spinal cord injury
  • Characterizing and reconstructing the neural circuitry that controls locomotion
  • Neural stem cells and their precursors for repair strategies
  • Modulating chemical signaling pathways that control cell survival and cell death;
  • Discovering molecules that regulate spinal cord development
  • Developing acute surgical approaches to spinal cord repair
  • Utilizing gene therapy for spinal cord repair
  • Characterizing autonomic and sexual dysfunction after spinal cord injury
  • Developing novel clinically relevant spinal cord injury models
  • Modulating angiogenic responses after spinal cord injury
  • Novel imaging methods in acute human spinal cord injury