Jane Burridge is Professor of Restorative Neuroscience at the University of Southampton, where she leads the Neurorehabilitation Research Group. Jane’s research is about improving recovery of movement following Spinal Cord Injury and acquired brain damage. Fundamental to this is understanding the mechanisms associated with normal, loss and recovery of sensory and motor function. Jane’s work crosses traditional rehabilitation boundaries, collaborating with engineers, neuroscientists and psychologists. She was elected President of The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Neurology (ACPIN) in March 2017.
Jane graduated as a physiotherapist, but later changed career and trained as a musician playing and teaching the flute. Her PhD at the University of Southampton enabled response to Functional Electrical Stimulation for drop-foot to be better predicted by accurate measurement of muscle dysfunction.
Currently, Jane’s research includes using Brain Computer Interface (BCI) technology in the treatment of Central Neuropathic Pain and wearable sensors to support home-based rehabilitation and generate objective kinetic data. Her FES work now focuses on cycling in SCI using Virtual Reality to motivate voluntary effort.
John Chernesky is the Consumer Engagement Lead at the Rick Hansen Institute. With nearly 25 years of lived experience of spinal cord injury (SCI) since being paralyzed in 1993, John has participated in dozens of research studies in addition to being a co-investigator on a number of research projects. His strong connection to the local SCI community as well as an international network of people living with SCI brings local, national and international consumer perspective to the SCI research field. He is recognized as a leader in engagement and integrated knowledge translation.
Susan J. Harkema, PhD,Professor, holds the Owsley B. Frazier Rehabilitation Chair in Neurological Surgery and is the Associate Director of the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center at the University of Louisville. Over the last 20 years, her research has focused on neural plasticity of spinal networks and recovery of function after spinal cord injury. Her more recent studies have shown that people with chronic paralysis can regain the ability to voluntarily move their legs and stand independently with epidural stimulation. This broadened the scope of the translational research program to include technology development to improve implantable epidural stimulators. Dr. Harkema has maintained an NIH funded research program since 1998 in neuroplasticity after human spinal cord injury and served as the Director of an NIH-funded program project grant from 1998-2008.
Dr. Harkema has published more than 180 scholarly manuscripts and book chapters. She has delivered over 100 worldwide lectures and keynotes, has been a grant reviewer for the NIH, Roman Reed, Mission Connect, FISM Society, and has sat on numerous advisory boards and review panels. Many of her 28 mentored graduate students and post-doctoral fellows have excelled in their careers.
Dr. Harkema has co-authored seven United States patents and has received several honors and awards throughout her career. In 2007, the National Spinal Cord Injury Association nominated her into the SCI Hall of Fame for Achievement in Research in Quality of Life, and in 2008, Dr. Harkema was a co-recipient of the Reeve-Irvine Research Medal, awarded to individuals who have made critical contributions to promoting repair of the damaged spinal cord and recovery of function. In 2011, Dr. Harkema received the Difference Maker Award from the Rick Hansen Foundation and the Breakthrough Award from Popular Mechanics. She received the John Stanley Coulter Award for significant contribution to the field of rehabilitation by the ACRM in 2012 and received the Innovator of the Year award from Business First in 2014.
Dr. Harkema earned her Bachelor of Science and PhD from Michigan State University and conducted her postdoctoral fellowship in neurophysiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.