john gensel, phd

KSCHIRT Funded Center

Welcome to the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC) at the University of Kentucky. Our center was established in 1999 in large part through the support of the Kentucky Spinal Cord and Head Injury Research Trust (KSCHIRT). Through state legislation, this trust is used to finance the spinal cord and head injury research programs at the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville. The trust supports spinal cord and brain injury related research grants, an annual symposium and seminar series, neurotrauma research trainees, and capital research investments. KSCHIRT funded endowments further support the SCoBIRC mission. Collectively, these resources, along with strong institutional support from the University, have facilitated over two decades of success in the SCoBIRC mission to conduct cutting edge research to protect and repair injured neurons, advocate and integrate our research program with spinal cord injury (SCI) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) communities, and create and support an inclusive, equitable, and diverse research and training environment. The result is a center which reaches fall beyond the walls of UK in its reputation and efforts to develop therapies for individuals who suffer spinal cord and brain injuries.

Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury

With over a dozen primary research faculty, even more undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral trainees, and dozens of research and administrative staff, SCoBIRC is one of very few neurotrauma research centers in the world to excel at both SCI and TBI research. The robust neuroscience, physiology, and research communities on the University of Kentucky campus further enhance the research infrastructure for SCoBIRC faculty, trainees, and staff. The result is a cohesive and collaborative center both physically, existing as one unit on a single floor within the state-of-the-art Biomedical Biological Sciences Research Building, and intellectually with most SCoBIRC research projects being collaborative in nature. The National Institutes of Health have provided continuous T32 support for SCoBIRC graduate fellowships since 2006. This, along with recent programs to increase research activities for undergraduate researchers, for example, the SCoBIRC AARTS program (African American Research Training Scholars), ensures that SCoBIRC is training the next generation of researcher focused on identifying therapies for SCI and TBI.  SCoBIRC alumni include educators, researchers, policy makers, industry leaders, and advocates across the world.

An Array of Opportunities

I urge you to become involved in our mission and program. We offer an array of opportunities for prospective researchers from fellowships to job opportunities. Private-public partnerships between SCoBIRC and industry are exploring new areas of translational research and clinical development. SCoBIRC is activity involved and supporting neurotrauma initiatives for transforming research data sharing as well as community advocacy. Please consider a gift to the Center in support of our mission and efforts.

I am excited to welcome you to SCoBIRC and invite you to explore our website, meet our faculty, visit and tour our facility, and discover more about our exciting research programs and training opportunities. Please feel free to contact me if you’d like to learn more.

John C. Gensel, PhD
Director and Endowed Chair of SCoBIRC