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For People with SCI Interested in Participating in Research

Research studies (updated April 27, 2018)

The research studies listed below are being provided as a resource only.  This list is not all-inclusive.  There may be many other studies available or appropriate for you.  

Additionally, the studies below are not being recommended by the SCI SIG.  Individuals must evaluate each study careful and determine if the study is appropriate for his or her own personal situation. 


  • SCI Model Systems Researchers are looking for participants for a research study survey to "understand how spasticity affects daily life and functioning in persons with SCI."  Researchers will use a short (~20 minute long) survey to determine:
    • How spasticity can present (i.e. at rest, during movement, clonus, stiffness, sleep disturbance, discomfort, pain)
    • Beneficial aspects of spasticity (i.e. help during transfers, standing, positioning, walking, etc.)
    • Preferred management strategies (i.e. physical therapeutics, oral pharmaceuticals, intrathecal baclofen, nerve blocades, etc.).
  • The Walking Improvement for SCI with Exoskeleton (WISE) multicenter study is planning to enroll 160 community dwelling people with chronic, incomplete SCI to "evaluate improvements in independent gait speeds of SCI patients undergoing rehabilittion with the EksoGT...compared to both conventional and usual care control groups." 
    • Inclusion Criteria:
      • Chronic, incomplete SCI undergoing rehabilitation 
      • Incomplete SCI (>1 year)
      • Injury level C1 - T10
      • Able to ambulate at least one step
      • Age:  18 - 75 years
  • The Northwest ADA Center at the University of Washington is conducting a study assessing Health Care Access and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Participants will complete a short eligibility screening questionnaire, followed by a full survey asking about the participant's demographics and experiences in accessing health care.  This one-time survey can be completed online, over the phone (866-495-7015), or by paper (email:  
    • Inclusion Criteria
      • A person with a disability living in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, or Washington
      • 18 years or older
      • Have needed health care in the last 12 months
  • The University of Pittsburgh and UPMC-SCI Model System is conducting an online study evaluating the effectiveness of a 1-hour web-based training program
    on optimizing transfer technique.  If you are interested in participating in this research opportunity and would like more information, please click here.  If you would like to access the online transfer training program without being part of the research study, click here.  If you have any questions, please contact UPMC directly at 412-822-3666 or at
    • Inclusion Criteria
      • Age:18 - 75 years 
      • Use a wheelchair for mobility

Research Organizations

  • Burke Medical Research Institute is a nonprofit scientific research institute based in White Plains, NY devoted to "advancing the study of neurological diseases and injuries, pioneering novel rehabilitation therapies, and developing innovative clinical programs and clinics." Their research varies widely between their research labs and affiliates.
  • The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation aims to "pursue every opportunity to enhance the health and quality of life of individuals living with paralysis, by translating scientific breakthroughs into vital new therapies."  Their online website provides links to the current research they are funding and general clinical trial information.   
  • Craig Hospital is a rehabilitation hospital in Denver, CO that specializes in neuro-rehabilitation and research of patients with spinal cord injury(SCI) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).  Craig's research department conducts a wide variety of SCI and TBI rehabilitation research, in addition to more basic science research.

  • The Kessler Foundation is a rehabilitation research facility in New Jersey which strives to "improve the lives of people with physical and cognitive disabilities caused by stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain and spinal cord injury, and other chronic neurological and musculoskeletal conditions."  It was founded by the same orthopedist who founded the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, the "largest and most comprehensive hospital for medical rehabilitation in New Jersey."  

  • Ranchos Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center is a rehabilitation hospital in Downey, CA that was founded on the principles of excellence in research, education, and innovation.  Their research focuses on "recovery of function, community re-integration, and wellness throughout the lifetime of individuals with spinal cord injury." 

  • Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly RIC) is a rehabilitation hospital in Chicago, IL which is the "first-ever 'translational' research hospital where clinicians, scientists, innovators and technologists work together in the same space, applying research real time to physical medicine and rehabilitation."  Their research focuses on improving treatments and recovery for individuals with spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke and more.  
  • Shepherd Center is a private hospital in Atlanta, GA specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. Shepherd's research strives to "develop, refine, and evaluate new treatments, drugs, surgical techniques, diagnostic tools, and various therapy interventions...[as well as] improve the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of clinical services."    

Online Resources for people with SCI

  • The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation provides online resources for individuals with SCI considering participating in research, including answering questions like "What are Clinical Trials" and "What are the Phases of a Clinical Trial". 
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