Moving Beyond Isolated Systems

a whole-body approach to understanding spinal cord injury, recovery, and the current scientific evidence for neuromodulation. 


Moving Beyond Isolated Systems, April 2020


April 6-8, 2020


221 South 4th St.

Louisville, KY  40202

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The Symposium:


Moving Beyond Isolated Systems: a whole body approach to spinal cord injury, recovery, and the current scientific evidence for neuromodulation

The spinal cord is a signal integration and communication matrix that serves to maintain systemic homeostasis under varying conditions. Spinal cord injury (SCI) perturbs the ability of the spinal cord to maintain homeostasis, which has synergistic and interdependent whole-body consequences.


Neuromodulation has shown the ability to recover levels of homeostasis across many body systems. Rather than viewing the pathophysiology of SCI from an isolated organ-system perspective, this meeting will place the study of SCI in the context of medical and biological “Systems Theory” which emphasizes an integrated whole-body approach to treatment of illness and/or injury. 


The goal of this meeting will be to initiate discussions and encourage dialogue that expands the focus of the SCI field from isolated organ-system dysfunction to the study of the multi-system, inter-related, consequences of spinal cord injury.

Sessions will focus on the far-reaching effects of spinal cord injury on the whole body. Session topics include Spinal Cord Injury’s Whole-Body Effect on the Autonomic System, Spinal Cord Injury and Metabolic Disease, and Muscle as an Endocrine Organ. This Symposium will offer an unprecedented focus on understanding the current science of neuromodulation and evidence to support how thispractice of can improve locomotor skills, autonomic function, and overall health for persons with spinal cord injury.

The Speakers



April 6-8, 2020

Day 1

Spinal Cord Injury as a Whole Body System: Biology and Neuromodulation as an Agent of Recovery

Steve Kirshblum, MD

Plenary Session 1: Metabolic Disease (Chair: Dana McTigue, PhD)

  •  David Gater, MD, PhD, MS

  • Ceren Yarar-Fisher, PhD   

  • Phillip Popovich, PhD

  • Mark Nash, PhD, FACSM

  • J. Andrew Taylor, PhD 

Plenary Session 2: Muscle as endocrine organ
(Chair: David Magnusson, PhD)

  • Christopher Cardozo, MD

  • David Ditor, PhD

  • Karen Esser, M Ed, PhD


Plenary Session 3: Cardiovascular Dysfunction (Chair: Jill Wecht, EdD)

  • David Goldstein, MD, PhD           

  • Andrei Krassioukov, MD, PhD

  • Bonnie Ditterline, PhD

Keynote Dinner at Churchill Downs

Elliot Krames, MD

*Additional Ticket Required*


Day 2

Overview and History of Neuromodulation

Karen Minassian, PhD 

Plenary Session 4: Epidural Stimulation: Motor Systems
(Chair: Susan Harkema, PhD)

  • Enrico Rejc, PhD      

  • Claudia Angeli, PhD

  • Peter Grahn, PhD

  • Marco Capogrosso, PhD

  • Gregoire Courtine, PhD


Special Session: Neuromodulation and Motor Training: 

  • Megan Gill PT, DPT and Claudia Angeli, PhD


Plenary Session 5: Transcutaneous Stimulation: Motor Systems
(Chair: Reggie Edgerton, PhD)

  • Yury Gerasmienko, PhD

  • Ursula Hofstetter, PhD

  • Gail Forrest, PhD

  • Reggie Edgerton, PhD



Day 3

Plenary Session 6: Neurosurgical Approaches and the Clinical Future of Neuromodulation

  • Maxwell Boayke, MD, MPH, MBA 

  • Jocelyne Bloch, MD

  • James Guest, MD, PhD, FACS


Plenary Session 7: Intersystems, Health, and Community Integration of Neuromodulation

  • Susan Harkema, PhD

  • Charles Hubscher, PhD

  • April Herrity, PhD

  • Ona Bloom, PhD


Plenary Session 8: Stakeholders Discussion:
Integration of Community, Industry, Science, and Funders


The Venue:
Kentucky International Convention Center

221 South 4th St.

Louisville, KY 40202

15 minutes from Louisville International Airport, and located at the center of downtown Louisville, the Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC) is close to more than 6,000 hotel rooms and dozens of fine dining and casual restaurants. It is within walking distance of museums, distilleries, gift shops, and other attractions. KICC is truly at the center of it all!



There are many conveniently located hotels in the area. We have blocked a limited number of rooms at The Hyatt Regency Louisville at $155 per night, and at the Louisville Marriott Downtown at $172 per night. Accessible rooms will be available and can be reserved.

Hyatt Regency Louisville

Click here to make a Hyatt reservation or call 877-803-7534 and reference"Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center."  The Hyatt Regency Louisville is also offering 20% off at the Sway Restaurant. Overnight parking is $20 self park or $29 valet.

Marriott Downtown Louisville

Click here to make a Marriott reservation

Complimentary wifi and discounted daily parking ($15/day) will be available to those staying at the Marriott for the Symposium.


Accreditation Information


The University of Louisville School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 15.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


This program has been approved by the Kentucky Board of Nursing for 18.3 continuing education credits through University of Louisville Hospital, provider number 4-0068-7-20-1148. The Kentucky Board of Nursing approval of an individual nursing education provider does not constitute endorsement of program content. Completion criteria to obtain CE's: Attend entire session and complete the evaluation.

Occupational and Physical Therapists

This program has been approved by the Kentucky Physical Therapy Association  (KPTA) for 18.5 continuing education credits for attending Physical Therapists.


This program has been approved by the Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association  (KOTA) for 18.5 continuing education credits for attending Occupational Therapists.

The University of Louisville School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.