Skip to main content

Tim Reynolds Research Center Image


The Reynolds Family Spine Laboratory performs translational research to address challenging issues related to chronic and acute spinal cord injury and to diseases that lead to paralysis including multiple sclerosis. The goal is to discover new targets for therapeutic interventions.

Current research uses rodent models of spinal cord contusion injury and multiple sclerosis, genetically modified mice and neuronal/glial cultures and co-cultures to study neuroimmune interactions, the cross-talk between neurons and glia, mechanisms of neuronal protection and degeneration, axonal regeneration, functional recovery and alleviation of co-morbidities including neuropathic pain.

Ongoing research projects:

  • Innate immunity in the spinal cord and the therapeutic potential of toll-like receptor ligands in spinal cord injury.
  • The role of innate immune receptors in neuronal survival, axonal protection, and regeneration following spinal cord injury.
  • Modulation of astrocyte function and astrocyte-to-immune cell signaling by toll-like receptors in spinal cord injury.
  • Discovery of novel targets for the alleviation of neuropathic pain in spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis


The Mission of the Reynolds Family Spine Laboratory is:

  • To perform cutting-edge research in order to develop novel therapies that treat chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) by combining multidisciplinary basic, translational and clinical research and to translate the findings into clinical interventions that improve motor, sensory, and autonomic functions while minimizing spasticity and neuropathic pain
  • To train innovative, enthusiastic, and passionate future scientists and clinician-scientists who will bring creative new perspectives into the field and to encourage young investigators from different relevant scientific backgrounds to engage in high-impact SCI research
  • To increase the dialogue and collaboration between scientists, clinician-scientists, clinicians and the pharmaceutical industry in order to expedite the development, approval, and  implementation of new therapies
  • To bring public awareness to the challenges presented by SCI and its treatment and to increase advocacy for individuals with SCI and their families through the advancement of SCI research
  • To deliver all of our research into the public domain.


Our research aims to improve the functional outcomes of chronic and acute spinal cord injury and central nervous system diseases that can lead to paralysis. Our investigations bridge basic science and pre-clinical research and utilize combinatorial strategies comprising neurosurgery, molecular and cellular neurobiology, histology, and behavioral approaches.

The Laboratory collaborates with other investigators in the fields of immunology, proteomics, and neurobiology of disease.  The team, consisting of co-director Stella Elkabes, Ph.D., post-doctoral fellows, graduate, and medical students, and staff members integrates interdisciplinary skills and experience to identify targets for therapeutic interventions and to translate the findings from the bench to the bedside.


Stella Elkabes, PhD

Professor & Director of Reynolds Family Spine Laboratory