The Spinal Cord Society             Research Center

>Research staff< Pictured (left to right)-

Dr. Nandadevi Patil            Nic Soflet           Dr. Eric Holmberg       Ph.D. 
Dr. Shu-xin Zhang          M.D., Ph.D.
SCS is unique among other spinal cord injury cure organizations in that from 2001-2014 we owned and operated our own, independent research center. While we have now moved our center in with the University of Minnesota, we are still an independent entity under our own control and funded by SCS chapter activities. Most cure organizations you may be familiar with are actually contracting with some university or research laboratory. While there is nothing intrinsically wrong with that setup, it does have several drawbacks that are detrimental to our objective. On the other hand, being in control of our own center gives us several distinct advantages.

1) Our researchers work for us.

Researchers who work for a university frequently have classes to teach, meetings to attend and are subject to the universities policies and agenda; which may not be the same as yours. Our researchers only have one thing to concentrate on, all day every day; finding a cure for spinal cord injury. And if they aren’t doing the job we expect of them, we can replace them!

2) We exist only to find a cure for 
spinal cord injury.

Not so for many other research organizations. They may have many other priorities, and a cure for spinal cord injury is not necessarily the highest of them.

3) We primarily do "applied research".

Many researchers, because they work at public institutions, are likely limited to doing research that has broad applications across a wide spectrum of maladies. That is called basic research. The same is true of government institutions such as the National Institutes of Health and at many places that take government funding. At SCS, because we are independently funded, we take this basic research and apply it specifically to spinal cord injury. That is called applied research.

4) We are free to use whatever works.

We don’t’ suffer from the “not invented here” syndrome, We will take any research available if it’s showing promise and then we combine it with the other things we have been developing.

5) We understand that combinations
are the answer.

Spinal cord injury is complex and there are many factors that have to be overcome. Among these are- Getting nerves to regenerate; replacing neurons that are lost due to injury; eliminating and suppressing the reformation of the scar tissue that forms on the damaged nerves; blocking the natural growth inhibitors that take over in the damaged spinal cord, and effective physical therapy to maximize the recovery. Unfortunately, it appears there will be no “silver bullet” that solves all of these problems. It’s going to take a combination of approaches to form a complete treatment for the adult, chronic spinal cord injury.

6) We only work on the adult,
chronic injury.

Most of the research being done today is on the “acute” injury. That is, an injury that is only a few hours or a few days old. The problem is, none of us was hurt just a few hours or a few days ago. Even if you were hurt yesterday, a cure treatment would likely have to wait until the trauma subsided before it could be applied. By then you’d be chronic anyway, with all its associated complications. We need to be concentrating on a cure that will actually work on the people who need it. That is what SCS has insisted on right from the beginning.

News & Events

The Spinal Cord Society research center has initiated a collaboration with Dr. Ann Parr …
Appeal Letter campaign
Doriott Poker Tournament

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cord injured, it includes their families, friends
and others that are inspired to make a
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SCS Twin Cities Chapter

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Inver Grove Hgts, MN 55077
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2785 104th Ct E
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Spinal Cord Society (SCS) is a non-profit 501-c-3 organization in good standing with the Minnesota Secretary of State. Contributions are tax deductible and can be made separately to the SCS Research Fund or SCS Newsletter Fund. 100% of all donations to the research fund go to research for cure. The Newsletter Fund supports monthly publication of the SCS Newsletter. President is Richard A. Stonestrom, Secretary Jean Rustand, Treasurer Norman Gronwold.
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