More than 80,000 Canadians live with a spinal cord injury. Most require extensive health care to treat the conditions that these injuries can lead to, such as obesity and deterioration in muscle, bone and overall health. This lifetime cost of this care can exceed $1.5 million for each individual.
Dr. Kristine Cowley, Canada Research Chair in Function and Health After Spinal Cord Injury, is trying to identify the physiological mechanisms that support movement and exercise in order to improve treatments and outcomes for those with spinal cord injuries. As a Paralympic athlete and motor control researcher, she brings a unique perspective to this work. Ultimately, Cowley and her research team are translating the discoveries they make through community research into new approaches to improve the health and quality of life of those living with spinal cord injuries.