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**Due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, we have decided to postpone the date of our event to a later time. An announcement will be made when the new date is set**

Moving Beyond Isolated Systems

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

Expand your knowledge about SCI treatment and recovery


Louisville, KY. Accessibility note: KY is the abreviation for the state of Kentucky

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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 this practice of can improve locomotor skills, autonomic function, and overall health for persons with spinal cord injury.

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The Speakers

Steven Kirshblum, MD

Steven Kirshblum, MD

Day 1 Keynote Speaker

Senior Medical Officer and Director of SCI Services, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation; Chair and Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School; Co-Director, Northern New Jersey SCI System

Elliot Krames, MD

Elliot Krames, MD

Keynote Dinner Speaker

Board-certified anesthesiologist; Retired as of 2014 where he was Medical Director of Pacific Pain Treatment Centers in the San Francisco Bay Area

Karen Minassian

Karen Minassian, PhD

Day 2 Keynote Speaker

University Assistant Medical University of Vienna Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Vienna, Austria Planning Committee Member, Moving Beyond Isolated Systems Symposium

Ona Bloom

Ona Bloom, PhD

Associate Professor The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research; Dept. of Molecular Medicine, Dept. of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra Northwell East Garden City, NY

Grégoire Courtine

Grégoire Courtine, PhD

Full Professor of Neuroscience and Neurotechnology EPFL | Ecole Polytechnique Lausanne CHUV | Hopital Universitaire Lausanne Genève Planning Committee Member, Moving Beyond Isolated Systems Symposium

Claudia Angeli

Claudia Angeli, PhD

Assistant Professor Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center Senior Researcher, Human Locomotion Research Center at Frazier Rehab Institute University of Louisville Louisville, KY

Jocelyne Bloch

Jocelyne Bloch, MD

Associate Professor University of Lausanne Associate Professor, Functional Neurosurgery Program of the CHUV Lausanne, Switzerland

Christopher Cardozo

Christopher Cardozo, MD

Professor, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY

Karyn Esser

Karyn Esser, M.Ed., PhD

University of Kentucky Research Professor Preeminence Professor – Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, University of Florida Associate Director for Basic Muscle Biology; Institute of Myology, University of Florida

Gail Forrest

Gail Forrest, PhD

Kessler site Director of the NeuroRecovery Network. Associate Director Center for Mobility Rehabilitation Engineering Research. Director Center for Spinal Stimulation.

David Gater

David Gater, MD, PhD, MS

Professor and Chair Spinal Cord Injury Fellowship Director Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Medical Director of Rehabilitation, Jackson Memorial Hospital Co-Director, NIDILRR South Florida Spinal Cord Injury Model System University of Miami | Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine

Yury Gerasimenko

Yury Gerasimenko, PhD

Professor and Head Laboratory of Movement Physiology, Pavlov Institute of Physiology, St.Petersburg, Russia Planning Committee Member, Moving Beyond Isolated Systems Symposium

Megan Gill

Megan Gill, PT, D.P.T.

Research Physical Therapist Assistive and Restorative Technology Laboratory, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic

Reggie Edgerton

Reggie Edgerton, PhD

Professor, UCLA, Dept. of Physiological Science Professor, UCLA, Department of Neurobiology Professor, UCLA, Department of Neurosurgery

David Goldstein

David Goldstein, MD, PhD

Directs the UCNS-accredited Clinical Fellowship in Autonomic Disorders at the NIH Clinical Center. Clinical Neurocardiology Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

James Guest

James Guest, MD, PhD, FACS

Clinical Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery, The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, Miami, FL Planning Committee Member, Moving Beyond Isolated Systems Symposium

April Herrity

April Herrity, DC, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery Translational Research KSCIRC; Assistant Professor, Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, Department of Neurosurgery, Scientific Co-Director of the Urogenital and Bowel Core.

Ursula Hofstötter

Ursula Hofstötter, PhD

University assistant / Senior postdoc, Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering,Medical University of Vienna, Austria

Charles Hubscher

Charles Hubscher, PhD

Professor and Vice Chair; Director of Graduate Studies, Department Anatomical Sciences & Neurobiology, University of Louisville School of Medicine

Susan Harkema

Susan Harkema, PhD

Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery, Associate Scientific Director, UofL Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, Director of Research, Frazier Rehab Institute. Director, Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation’s Neurorecovery Network, Rehabilitation Research Director, Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center

Andrei Krassioukov

Andrei Krassioukov, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, BC, Canada; Associate Director, Rehabilitation, International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD), UBC, Vancouver, BC, Canada; Staff Physician, Spinal Cord Injury Program, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vancouver Acute (GF Strong), in the Department of Medicine, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Mark Nash

Mark Nash, PhD., FACSM

Tenured Professor of Neurological Surgery, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Physical Therapy at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (UM-MSOM); Associate Scientific Director (Rehabilitation Research) for the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis; Vice-Chair of Research in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Co-Director of the NIDILRR Spinal Cord Injury Model System

Aaron Phillips

Aaron Phillips, PhD

Assistant Professor in the Departments of Physiology and Pharmacology, Cardiac Sciences and Clinical Neurosciences

Phillip Popovich

Phillip Popovich, PhD

Director, OSU Center for Brain and Spinal Cord Repair (CBSCR); Professor, Neuroscience and Neurosurgery, The Ohio State University; Visiting Professor, Deutsches Zentrum fur Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen (DZNE), Bonn, Germany; Chair, Department of Neuroscience, The Ohio State University College of Medicine

Enrico Rejc

Enrico Rejc, PhD

Assistant Professor, Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, University of Louisville, KY; Scientific Director, Neuromuscular and Skeletal Reaserch Core, Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, University of Louisville, KY

Andrew Taylor

Andrew Taylor, PhD

Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School; Associate Chair for Research Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation; Director, Cardiovascular Research Laboratory, Spaulding Hospital Cambridge

Jill Wecht

Jill Wecht, EdD

Professor of Medicine and Rehabilitation Medicine at ISMMS; Program Director of the Cardiovascular Autonomic Program within the National Center for the Medical Consequences of SCI at the JJPVAMC; Chair of the Autonomic Standards Committee of ASIA and ISCoS Planning Committee Member, Moving Beyond Isolated Systems Symposium

Yarar Fisher

Ceren Yarar-Fisher, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL; Assistant Professor (secondary appointment), Department of Physical Therapy, UAB, Birmingham, AL

David Ditor

David Ditor, PhD

Professor Kinesiology Brock University Adjunct professor in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University Adjunct professor in the Department of Kinesiology & Health Science at York University

Peter Grahn

Peter Grahn, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Assistant Professor, Department of Neurologic Surgery Senior Engineer, Assistive and Restorative Technology Laboratory Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN Planning Committee Member, Moving Beyond Isolated Systems Symposium

Maxwell Boakye

Maxwell Boakye, MD, MPH, MBA, FACS, FAANS

Ole A., Mabel Wise and Wilma Wise Nelson Endowed Research Chair Professor Chief Spinal Neurosurgery Director, Outcomes Research Clinical Director, Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Center Department of Neurosurgery University of Louisville Louisville, KY

Marco Capogrosso

Marco Capogrosso, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery of the University of Pittsburgh


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 (8:00 am)

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

  • David Gater, MD, PhD, MS – Neuroginic obesity after SCI
  • Ceren Yarar-Fisher, PhD
  • Phillip Popovich, PhD
  • Mark Nash, PhD, FACSM – Inhibition of Myostatin Expression as a countermeasure to sarcopenic obesityfollowing SCI 
  • J. Andrew Taylor, PhD –Impact of Functional Electrical Stimulation Exercise on Cardiometabolic Health in SubAcute SCI

Plenary Session 2: Muscle as endocrine organ (Chair: David Magnuson, PhD)(1:00-3:00pm)

  • Christopher Cardozo, MD –Muslce as an endocrine organ: how changes in muscle secretome after SCI may drive those in fat and liver and predict adverse alterations in metabolism
  • David Ditor, PhD – Targeting inflamation as a means to manage secondary health complications after SCI
  • Karen Esser, M Ed, PhD – Circadian clocks in muscle; the importance of activity and exercise

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

  • David Goldstein, MD, PhD
  • Andrei Krassioukov, MD, PhD – Spinal cord Stimulation and autonomic dysfunctions following spinal cord injury
  • Jill Wecht, EdD – Autonomic Cardiovascular Dysfunction in SCI: Presentation, Consequences, Treatments
  • Ona Bloom, PhD –The potential for Lumbosacral Spinal Cord Epidural Stimulation to Reduce Systemic Inflammation in Chronic Spinal Cord Injury: An overview and case report

Keynote Dinner at Churchill Downs

Neuromodulation: Past, Present, & Future

Elliot Krames, MD (7:00 pm)

*Additional Ticket Required*

Day 2

Overview and History of Neuromodulation

Karen Minassian, PhD (8:00 – 9:00 am)

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

  • Marco Capogrosso, PhD –Computer models in the understanding of Electrical Epidural Stimulation for the recovery of motor control
  • Gregoire Courtine, PhD –Targeted epidural spinal stimulation (TESS): mechanisms
  • Peter Grahn, PhD –Examining downstream electrophysiology to understand interactions between electrical stimuli and human spinal sensorimotor networks
  • Enrico Rejc, PhD –Back on their feet: recovery of standing with spinal cord epidural stimulation after chronic motor complete spinal cord injury
  • Claudia Angeli, PhD –From modulation to recovery: Crossing the threshold

Special Session: Neuromodulation and Motor Training:

  • Megan Gill, PT, DPT and Claudia Angeli, PhD –Performance focused neuromodulation

Special Discussion: How to stim? Epidural Sub-Threshold network focused? Targeted Epidural Supra-Threshold?

    • Gregoire Courtine, Susan Harkema, Claudia Angeli, Peter Grahn

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

  • Yury Gerasmienko, PhD –Comprehensive approach to regain motor functions using transcutanious spinal cord stimulation

  • Ursula Hofstoetter, PhD –Tanscutaneous spinal cord stimulation for enhancing locomotor activity and controlling spasticity

  • Gail Forrest, PhD –Preliminary data for Transcutaneous Stimulation and Training for SCI: Upper and Lower extremity

  • Reggie Edgerton, PhD

Day 3

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

  • Maxwell Boayke, MD, MPH, MBA –Epidural stimulation for spinal cord injury-neurosurgical techniques and outcomes, pearls and pitfalls

  • Jocelyne Bloch, MD –Targeted epidural spinal stimulation (TESS): clinical translation

  • James Guest, MD, PhD, FACS –

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

  • Aaron Phillips, PhD –A mechanism-guided cardiovascular stabilizing system for spinal cord injury
  • Charles Hubscher, PhD –Epidural stimulation targeted for bladder control in a rat spinal cord injury model

  • April Herrity, PhD –Targeted spinal cord epidural stimulation in the recovery of bladder and cardiovascular function after human spinal cord injury

  • Susan Harkema, PhD –

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

Kentucky Convention Center

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

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

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.

University of Louisville - Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development
ACCME Accredited With Commendation
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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 6-8, 2020


221 South 4th St.
Louisville, KY 40202

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