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Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research 

The Indiana Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Group (ISCBIRG) at Indiana University School of Medicine is an integrated component of Stark Neurosciences Research Institute. The group is comprised of a critical mass of key principal investigators who study molecular mechanisms underlying spinal cord injury (SCI) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) and develop novel repair strategies to promote neural reorganization and functional recovery in experimental models of these injuries. The long-term goal of these studies is to translate promising treatments from animal models to humans. Additionally, several faculty conduct behavioral, pharmacological and neuroimaging research in human pediatric, adolescent and adult TBI.

Faculty Investigators

Derron L. Bishop, PhD

Associate Dean, IUSM Muncie

Randy R. Brutkiewicz, PhD

Professor of Microbiology & Immunology

Kunal Gupta, MBBCH, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery

Flora Hammond, MD

Chair, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Xiaoming Jin, BMED, PhD

Associate Professor of Anatomy, Cell Biology & Physiology

Naikui Liu, MD, MS, PhD

Associate Research Professor of Neurological Surgery

Brenna C. McDonald, PsyD

Professor of Radiology & Imaging Sciences

Samy Meroueh, PhD

Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Jason Meyer, PhD

Associate Professor of Medical & Molecular Genetics

Alexander G. Obukhov, PhD

Associate Professor of Anatomy, Cell Biology & Physiology

Richard B. Rodgers, MD

Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery

Chandler L. Walker, PhD

Associate Professor, School of Dentistry

Fletcher A. White, PhD

Vergil K. Stoelting Professor of Anesthesia

Yu-Chien Wu, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Radiology & Imaging Sciences

Amol P. Yadav, PhD, MS, BE

Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery

Feng C. Zhou, PhD

Professor Emeritus of Anatomy & Cell Biology

News and Updates

Congratulations to Season Johnson, postdoc in the Brutkiewicz lab, for being the recipient of an Indiana CTSI 2021 Annual Meeting Poster Presentation Award!

Congratulations to Dr. Kunal Gupta on receiving the IU CTSI Program Development Team pilot funding award of $12,445!

Dr. Kunal Gupta’s new publication:  Commentary: Bilateral nervus intermedius sectioning for geniculate neuralgia: case report and operative video. Operative Neurosurgery 2021.

Neurosurgery Publication

Kunal Gupta, MD, PhD and Amol Yadav, PhD had a paper accepted in the journal Neurosurgery: "Globus pallidus interna and ventral intermediate nucleus of the thalamus deep brain stimulation for adductor laryngeal dystonia: case report of blinded analyses of objective voice outcomes in two patients.” Laryngeal dystonia (also known as spasmodic dysphonia) is a group of debilitating voice disorders for which there are currently no persistently effective long-term treatments. Patients with this group of disorders experienced a range of troublesome vocal symptoms, including voice breaks, breathiness and tremor. In a multi-disciplinary collaborative study involving Indiana University School of Medicine Neurological Surgery, Neurology, Otolaryngology and ISCBIRG investigators, two patients were implanted with deep brain stimulation electrodes, stimulating structures deep in the brain. Advanced vocal analyses demonstrated that different components of voice disruption can be differentially targeted with deep brain stimulation of either the thalamus or the pallidum. These key findings represent the first steps in using a personalized medicine approach to treating patients with these debilitating vocal symptoms. The collaborative research team is building on these findings with a larger clinical trial. Patients, potential collaborators and interested scientists are welcome to contact the clinical deep brain stimulation service in the departments of neurosurgery and neurology to learn more about deep brain stimulation and potential trial enrollment.

Neurosurgery Publication

IU researchers pioneering noninvasive technique for neurological conditions

Indiana University School of Medicine researchers are developing a new, noninvasive brain stimulation technique to treat neurological disorders, including pain, traumatic brain injury (TBI), epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and more.

IU School of Medicine  |  Jul 01, 2021

Research Updates

IU School of Medicine researcher develops new technique that may restore sensory loss after injury, stroke

Patients who suffer from loss of sensory function, such as touch and proprioception, caused by neurological injury may soon be treated with spinal cord stimulation to restore these critical functions.

Glenda Shaw  |  Jun 10, 2021

IU School of Medicine researchers discover new potential for functional recovery after spinal cord injury

Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine have successfully reprogrammed a glial cell type in the central nervous system into new neurons to promote recovery after spinal cord injury—revealing an untapped potential to leverage the cell for regenerative medicine.

IU School of Medicine  |  Mar 05, 2021