Patrick Whelan, PhD
Our work centers on understanding the mechanisms that promote walking. Our work is relevant to many medical conditions where gait is affected including spinal cord injury and Parkinson’s Disease. We know that rehabilitation can induce plasticity in brain circuits at the level of the spinal cord and brain. We are interested in understanding the structure and function of brain circuits and in testing drugs that activate these centres. We also are interested in controlling neuropathic pain and understanding how pathological effects of pain on walking can be controlled. Gait rehabilitation and pain control represent two major areas of brain dysfunction that greatly impact the quality of life for those afflicted. Our long-term goal is to generate new therapeutics that can help promote recovery of function in spinal cord injured and Parkinson’s patients.