Candace L. Floyd, PhD
Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Research in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Utah
Key Variables that Affect the Clinical Relevance of SCI Preclinical Studies
This talk will discuss how key biological variables may affect the clinical relevance of basic science and preclinical discoveries made in animal models that identify injury mechanisms and developing therapies for spinal cord injury (SCI). Key biological variables to be discussed include the effects of sex, age, and species on outcome in preclinical SCI studies. The effects of these biological variables on SCI lesion characteristics and tissue sparing, inflammation, locomotor function, and sensory function including neuropathic pain will be discussed. The talk will also describe evolving research that highlights the effect of other variables such as diet and stress on outcomes in preclinical SCI research. The conclusion is that biological variables including sex, age, and species affect outcome in animal models and that newer studies suggest that diet and stress also affect mechanisms of injury and recovery. Improving rigor in including, monitoring, and reporting on these key variables is likely to improve the clinical relevance and translational potential of preclinical research discoveries.
Dr. Floyd is a tenured, Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Research in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Utah. She received her Ph.D. in 2000 from Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia and conducted a post-doctoral fellowship from 2001-2004 at the University of California, Davis. She established her independent laboratory in 2005 and her current research focuses on the utilization of clinically-relevant porcine models of traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury (SCI). Dr. Floyd evaluates sex as a biological variable, and her lab is one of only a few in the world that conducts SCI in male pigs. Dr. Floyd is a Good Laboratory Practice Certified Professional and the Chief Scientific Officer for Gordian Research Solutions. She has received numerous honors throughout her career, including the UAB Graduate Dean’s Award for Excellence in Membership. She is an active member of the National Neurotrauma Society.