Spinal cord injury (SCI) remains one of the most vexing unanswered disorders affecting human kind. While the cure for spinal cord injury remains elusive to date, important advancements into optimizing recovery potential for certain injury subtypes and outcomes of SCI patients in general have been made over time. There is arguably no more accomplished clinician / researcher in the field of SCI than Dr. Charles Tator, University of Toronto. In this lecture Dr. Tator reviews some of the highlights of insights gained throughout his long and meritorious career. This remarkable journey includes development of standards for animal models, goes on through a number of sentinel clinical studies in early patient care and concludes with his efforts at prevention. Dr. Phillip Horner from the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Washington presents a review of currently ongoing activities in trying to cure spinal cord injury.