The spinal cord contains the nerves that carry messages between the brain and the body. The cord passes through the neck and back. A spinal cord injury, damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves, is very serious because it can cause loss of movement (paralysis) below the site of the injury.
Feinstein Institute researchers are focusing on two main aspects of spine research. One is to study the degeneration and regeneration of tissues that are part of the spine, like the intervertebral disc, articular cartilage and tendonous tissues. Studies in this area use rigorous tools of bioengineering, cellular and molecular biology and animal physiology to characterize the function of healthy and diseased tissues with the scope of developing new treatment strategies for repairing arthritic and diseased tissues. The other aspect of spine research is to unravel the process of nerve cells regeneration after spinal cord injury.