Karim Fouad, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine University of Alberta, Alberta, Canada

Lost in translation: Learning from models to understand the human

Funded in: 2009, 2010, 2011


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Several therapies which followed this path have already proceeded to clinical testing, sometimes even by combining several of them. However, still no treatment has successfully reached clinic. This deficit mainly results from the uncertainty whether strategies in rodent experiments could achieve efficacy in patients.

Together with a group of leading spinal cord injury researchers, Dr. Fouad proposes to test a combination of therapeutic approaches which includes transplantation of supporting cells into the lesion, local delivery of growth factors to provide trophic stimulation to nerve fibres, enzyme injection to unleash plasticity in the spinal cord below the lesion site, and finally stimulation of regeneration-related genes.

This series of test will be done in parallel in rodent and primate models, and could lay the path of a new type of “translational” research.