Improving Recovery from Spinal Cord Injury
How inflammation influences tissue remodeling (scar formation) and repair after spinal cord injury

Dr. Samuel David

Led by Dr. Elizabeth Bradbury of King's College in London, England, Dr. Samuel David is a member of the Identification of Novel Bioactive Mediators of Tissue Scarring, Inflammation and Extracellular Matrix Remodeling after Spinal Cord Injury (SCI-NET) consortium.

He is recognized internationally for his expertise on spinal cord injury (SCI) and the ways in which the inflammation that follows SCI contributes to secondary tissue damage, such as neuronal loss and myelin damage. 

Neuronal cells specialize in generating nerve impulses, and the myelin sheath promotes efficient transmission of nerve impulses, allowing neuronal cells to communicate with each other. Damage to these cells in the spinal cord impairs motor function and leads to paralysis, loss of sensation, and incontinence.

Joined by colleagues located in Berlin, Germany and Zurich, Switzerland, Dr. David will work with Dr. Bradbury to examine the role of inflammatory activation on tissue remodeling and scarring, while the German members assess the body's internal alarm system in human plasma and cerebrospinal fluid of people who have had a SCI.

The discovery approach used in this study will provide a valuable insight into how inflammation influences tissue remodeling (scar formation) and repair after spinal cord injury. The hope is that the SCI-NET team's investigations will lead to the development of new therapies that target post-injury tissue remodeling and improve outcomes for patients living with SCI.

With an estimated four million people living with SCI around the world, the profound social, health and economic consequences associated with injuries of this nature provide a powerful impetus for Dr. David and his fellow team members.

"I am thrilled that the CIHR and Fonds Québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture (FRQS) have partnered with a number of European Union countries to help bring scientists with a range of expertise and backgrounds to work together to find solutions to some of the most difficult problems in neurology.  I am hopeful that this effort will lead to important discoveries that will help improve the lives of people living with spinal cord injury."

Dr. Samuel David is a Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at McGill University, as well as a researcher at McGill's Centre for Research in Neuroscience, The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre.

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