Spinal Cord Injury Research

Interested in volunteering for a clinical trial? View current research studies here.

Please fill out our SCI Research Intake Form to be considered for current and future research studies.

Shepherd Center supports translational and clinical research efforts that are scientifically sound, safeguard the welfare of research participants, and have the potential to advance the field of spinal cord injury medicine.

Shepherd Center partners with institutions of higher learning and industry to develop solutions for paralysis, spasticity, pain, autonomic dysfunction and a variety of other consequences of spinal cord injury.

Until neural regeneration becomes a more clinically applicable possibility, Shepherd Center will continue to focus on preserving neurological function through prevention, increasing function through intervention, and setting the standard for independence and quality of life among individuals with spinal cord and brain injuries.

The Spinal Cord Injury Research Program at Shepherd Center is especially interested in the idea of restorative neurology and carries out studies that address the recovery of function in residual, reorganized or regenerated neural circuitry in patients with spinal cord injury.

The Spinal Cord Injury Research Program at Shepherd Center is developing a human laboratory called the Hulse Spinal Cord Injury Lab to expand its capacity to translate discoveries made in basic science research to studies in humans with spinal cord injury.

We hope to better understand how changes in the nervous system brought about by treatment can be enhanced to improve recovery or gain recovery in patients that don’t currently improve.

For any questions regarding SCI research at Shepherd Center, please contact us by email at sciresearch@shepherd.org.

SCI Research Team

  • Edelle Field-Fote, PT, PhD, FAPTA

    Director of Spinal Cord Injury Research

    Director, Spinal Cord Injury Research & The Hulse Spinal Cord Injury LaboratoryProfessor, Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Rehabilitation MedicineProfessor, Georgia Institute of... Read More

  • Jennifer Iddings, PhD

    Postdoctoral Fellow, Hulse Spinal Cord Injury Laboratory

    Jennifer joined the Hulse Spinal Cord Injury Lab in the fall of 2015. A basic scientist by training, she is excited to apply her expertise in vascular and neural physiology to the field of clinical... Read More

  • Stephen Estes, PhD

    Post-Doctorate Fellow, SCI Clinical Research Scientist

    Stephen joined the Spinal Cord Injury Lab as a post-doctoral research fellow in the Fall of 2015. A cellular neuroscientist by training, he is interested in applying his knowledge of neuromodulation... Read More

  • Saumitra Ray, MS, BME

    Research Associate

    Saumitra joined the Hulse in August 2014 as a Research Scientist. Saumitra is a biomedical and industrial electronics engineer with more than 7 years of experience working in the field of neuro motor... Read More

  • Nicholas Evans, MHS, CEP

    Clinical Exercise Physiologist, SCI Clinical Research Scientist

    Nick currently holds dual positions at Shepherd Center in the Beyond Therapy program and in the Spinal Cord Injury Laboratory as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist and research assistant in which he... Read More

  • Sarah Callahan, MOT, OTR/L

    Occupational Therapist, SCI Clinical Research Scientist

    Sarah started at the Shepherd Center in early 2013 as a Spinal Cord Injury Research Fellow, where her time was divided between treating patients across the continuum of care and assisting with... Read More

  • Brandon Poe, MPA

    Research Program & Data Manager, Hulse Spinal Cord Injury Lab

    Brandon serves as Shepherd Center’s Project Manager for the Southeastern Regional Spinal Cord Injury Model System (SR-SCIMS). He oversees the collection and management activities for the SCIMS Form... Read More

  • Allison Ainsworth, MOT, OTR/L

    Occupational Therapist, SCI Clinical Research Scientist

    Allison is an occupational therapist & research scientist in the spinal cord injury research lab. She coordinates the research study titled Conditioning Neural Circuits in Upper Extremity Function... Read More

  • Janice Tilley

    Senior Data Collector

    Janice has served as the Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems (SCIMS) data collector for the long-term data (Form II) since 2001. She has contributed to data entry for National Spinal Cord Injury... Read More

  • Tori Galatas, MOT, OTR/L

    Occupational Therapist, SCI Research Fellow

    After graduating with her Masters in Occupational Therapy, Tori joined the Shepherd Center as a Spinal Cord Injury Research Fellow in 2017. Her time is split between collaborating with the Hulse... Read More

  • Cathy Furbish, PT, DPT, CLT

    Physical Therapist, SCI Clinical Research Scientist

    In her role as a research scientist physical therapist in spinal cord injury research, Cathy coordinates Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems collaborative projects. For this SCIMS cycle, the projects... Read More