Sensory function and dysfunction in neurotrauma: models, molecules and mechanisms

Spinal cord injury (SCI) interrupts the flow of information between the brain and spinal cord. As a result, people with SCI experience muscle paralysis. They also experience changes in sensation, ranging from a complete loss of sensation to chronic pain. Dr. Matt Ramer’s research focuses on the sensory nervous system and how its changes due to trauma related to sensory dysfunction. In particular, he is interested in the balance between factors that promote or inhibit the growth of nerve fibres (axons). Dr. Ramer is investigating the effects of growth-promoting and growth-inhibiting molecules on the anatomy of spinal sensory axons, on their connectivity within and outside the spinal cord, and on behavioural outcomes resulting from spinal cord injury. This work will increase our understanding of sensory dysfunction and may identify new therapies for SCI.