Neuroprosthetic Technologies to Improve Motor Recovery after SCI: Gregoire Courtine, PhD

Dr. Gregoire Courtine Working 2 Walk 2015 Bethesda, Maryland

Dr. Gregoire Courtine Working 2 Walk 2015 Bethesda, Maryland

Over the past decade, Dr. Courtine’s team developed a pragmatic therapy that restored supraspinal control over refined leg movements after severe spinal cord injury in rodents. The therapy acts over two time windows. Immediately, electrical and chemical neuromodulation of spinal circuits mediate motor control of the paralysed legs. In the long term, will-powered training regimens enabled by electrochemical neuromodulation and robotic assistance promote neuroplasticity of residual connections—an extensive rewiring that reestablishes voluntary movement. During the conference, Dr. Courtine will describe these developments, and will highlight current efforts in non-human primates and humans to optimize and translate these interventions into a robust and effective therapy to improve motor recovery in individuals with spinal cord injury.

Gregoire Courtine, PhD, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
Grégoire Courtine was trained in Mathematics, Physics, and Neurosciences. He received his PhD degree in Experimental Medicine from the Inserm Plasticity and Repair, France, in 2003. After a Post-doctoral training at the University of California (UCLA), where he was also an associate researcher for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, he established his own laboratory at the University of Zurich in 2008. He received the Schellenberg Prize for his work in paraplegia and a fellowship from the European Research Council in 2009 for the significant progress made in the development of neurotechnologies. In 2012, he accepted the International Paraplegic Foundation (IRP) chair in Spinal Cord Repair in the Center for Neuroprosthetics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL). Over the past 15 years, Prof Courtine has implemented an unconventional research program with the aim to develop radically new treatment paradigms to improve motor function in severely paralyzed people. The results of this research were recognized in various high-profile publications such as Science and Nature journals. In 2013, he was invited to share his personal and scientific journey at TEDGlobal. In 2014, Grégoire launched his startup, G-Therapeutics SA, which aims to translate his medical and technological breakthroughs into therapeutic treatments. His startup obtained numerous prizes. In parallel, he set up an innovative Gait Rehabilitation Platform at the University Hospital of Vaud (CHUV) to implement clinical trials.

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