Our Cure Program focuses on the generation of knowledge and the establishment of treatments that will ultimately result in a cure for paralysis after spinal cord injury.
About the Program
The Cure Program aims to leverage RHI’s strengths and resources to participate in international collaborative efforts towards curing spinal cord injury.
The objectives of the Cure Program are to:
> Further our understanding of the biology and physiology of SCI.
> Develop promising therapies for neuro-restoration in acute and chronic SCI.
What is our definition of cure?
At RHI, we recognize that a "cure" for paralysis after spinal cord injury may, in fact, lie in several incremental cures. We define a cure as any intervention to return a person to greater functionality after SCI whether by protecting the injured spinal cord tissue from secondary degeneration, by promoting neuroplasticity and/or regeneration, and by rehabilitation strategies that could enhance these regenerative efforts. Cure applies to the acutely (new) and chronically injured.
Areas of Focus
RHI acknowledges that there is a vast spectrum of research that is related to curing SCI – the definition itself is intentionally broad. However, based on RHI’s Cure Program objectives, RHI will focus its support on the following activities:
> Support pre-clinical and clinical studies that increase our understanding of SCI or evaluate therapeutic agents, cellular treatments, rehabilitation strategies and/or management of acute SCI.
> Develop a biobank or a repository of biological samples (e.g. CSF, blood, cord tissue) to support current and future international studies
> Develop outcome measures to supplement the International Standards for Neurological Classicification of Spinal Cord Injury (the examination used to determine severity and location of SCI) as a measure of neurological impairment as well as improve or develop new measures of neuro-recovery.
> Promote, develop and adopt international standards and datasets for use in SCI clinical research.
On occasion, RHI solicits open funding calls for funding in order to support our program objectives.
Advisory Committee and Roadmap
The Cure Program is guided by a program advisory committee and is chaired by surgeon-scientist Dr. Brian Kwon (University of British Columbia, Vancouver General Hospital). The Cure Advisory Committee membership is comprised of national and international SCI experts selected to provide strategic representation in clinical and preclinical research, and provides RHI with guidance on cure-related activities and recommendations for future activities.
In consultation with the Cure Advisory Committee, RHI has developed a roadmap which describes the program's objectives and activities.
Below are examples of cure-related projects RHI supports:
> Read about the projects being funded through our Preclinical Research Towards Cures funding competition
> Read about the projects being funded through our Pilot Studies - Optimizing Neurorecovery Following SCI funding competition
To view are more comprehensive list of our projects, visit Our Projects & Initiatives.