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October 22-23, 2021 | Salt Lake City

Confirmed speakers as of June 11th, 2021.

  • Quinn Brett, MA | Board of Directors, U2FP
    Quinn Brett, MA | Board of Directors, U2FP

    Athletics and movement have always been a big part of Quinn's life, from running the Twin Cities Marathon, triathlons, ultra-runs and rock climbing. In 2008, Quinn returned to school to obtain a Masters Degree in Educational Psychology as well as a social studies secondary teaching certificate. Traveling and the mountain lifestyle led her away from teaching in a classroom setting, and instead she acquired her Emergency Medicine training and Search and Rescue Training. She got hired as a climbing ranger in RMNP in the summer months, educating visitors on Public Land use and rescuing visitors with everything from twisted ankles to life-threatening injuries in precarious places. In the winter months she taught Wilderness EMT courses and traveled on various climbing expeditions. Quinn has established new routes and speed records on mountains across the globe, as well as all over the American West. In 2017, Quinn took a large climbing fall on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, sustaining a T11 ASIA A Spinal Cord Injury. Her love to move through outdoor wilderness space continues as does her passion for educating others on spinal cord injury and research.

  • I received my Ph.D. from the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands in 1995 and have been on faculty at the University of Cincinnati, Western University (Canada), University of Michigan, and University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC). I have published over 130 papers describing my research on sexual behavior, motivation and reward, drug addition, neuroendocrine function, and spinal cord injury and am known for my expertise in a wide range of techniques, including neuropharmacology, molecular biology, chemogenetics, neuroanatomy, and behavioral techniques. Moreover, I utilize numerous animal models in my research, including rat, mouse, hamster, and sheep. My research has been continuously funded by the NIH and other federal and non-federal funding agencies. In addition, during my time at the Western University, I was awarded a Canada Research Chair and successfully competed for funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada. I have received numerous awards for my research and teaching, including the CJ Herrick award from the American Association of Anatomists, the Canada Research Chair in Neurobiology of Motivation and Reward, and the Norman Nelson award for Teaching Excellence at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

  • Grégoire Courtine was originally trained in Mathematics and Physics, but received his PhD degree in Experimental Medicine from the University of Pavia, Italy, and the INSERM Plasticity and Motricity, in France, in 2003. From 2004-2007, he held a Post-doctoral Fellow position at the Brain Research Institute, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) under the supervision of Dr. Reggie Edgerton, and was a research associate for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation (CDRF). In 2008, he became Assistant Professor at the faculty of Medicine of the University of Zurich where he established his own research laboratory. In 2012, he was nominated Associate Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) where he holds the International paraplegic foundation (IRP) chair in spinal cord repair at the Center for Neuroprosthetics and the Brain Mind Institute. He published several articles proposing radically new approaches for restoring function after spinal cord injury, which were discussed in national and international press extensively. He received numerous honors and awards such as the 2007 UCLA Chancellors award for excellence in post-doctoral research and the 2009 Schellenberg Prize for his innovative research in spinal cord injury awarded by the International Foundation of Research in Paraplegia.

  • Dr. Floyd’s research focuses on the use of porcine models of traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and neuropathic pain to advance discoveries and translation in preclinical research. She is a certified Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) professional. Dr. Floyd serves as a Councilor and co-Chair of the Communication and Outreach Committee for National Neurotrauma Society.

  • Jim Hamer is the Director of the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Program at DP Clinical, Inc., a full-service Contract Research Organization (CRO) based in Rockville, MD. He has over 24 years of SCI research and clinical trial experience working with biotech, pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Due to his experience, desire and passion to seek cures for the acute and chronic SCI community, Jim was elected to the U2FP Board of Directors in February 2021.

  • Dale is the cofounder and Executive Director of Neuroworx. He graduated from the University of Utah School of Medicine in 1985. Following graduation, he completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Utah Medical Center. He practiced general obstetrics and gynecology for ten years in the south portion of the Salt Lake metropolitan area. In 1999, he suffered a spinal-cord injury that resulted in paralysis from the neck down. This life-altering event, which prevented him from returning to active practice, required Dr. Hull to devote approximately three years to his rehabilitation. His physical therapist during the majority of this time was Jan Black. He was fortunate to have an early return of neurological function. With hard work and Jan’s expert guidance, he was able to take advantage of that return to make significant gains in functional ability. Dale and Jan realized there was an unmet need to provide others with access to the extraordinary rehabilitation he had experienced. He joined his therapist in forming a non-profit organization and opening Neuroworx in 2004.

  • Our primary research aim is to understand neural mechanisms responsible for human locomotion and the level of plasticity after neurologic injury. We study the plasticity of the human lumbosacral spinal cord in individuals with spinal cord injury during locomotor training. We step individuals on a treadmill with body weight support and manual assistance to maintain the normal kinematics and kinetics of walking.

  • Our lab is interested in applying bioengineering approaches to promote regeneration in the central and peripheral nerve regeneration. We use 3D printing, stem cells, material sciences, and drug delivery to provide guidance and enhance axonal regeneration.

  • Michael Lane, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy at Drexel University College of Medicine. He leads a research team consisting of two graduate students and one junior faculty member (instructor). Prior to coming to Drexel, Dr. Lane was an assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Florida, McKnight Brain Institute. He also served as a lecturer in the annual NIH-funded Spinal Cord Injury Training Program at The Ohio State University from 2009 to 2013.

  • Barry (BA, LLB) is the Chief Development Officer of the Canadian Spinal Research Organization and the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation; he also serves as director of the American Spinal Research Organization. In 1987, Barry sustained a spinal cord injury in a diving accident, which resulted in quadriplegia. He has sat on multiple boards advocating for people with disabilities and particularly spinal cord injury research. Barry graduated from Law School in 1994 and was called to the Bar in 1996. He practiced personal injury law for over 10 years. His legal experience combined with 30 years of practical experience living with a spinal cord injury make him a formidable advocate for the disabled community. Barry has dedicated his life to assisting people living with disabilities and improving their quality of life.

  • Andrew leads Spiderwort’s research program on the development of their biomaterials and their ability to address a variety of medical indications. Andrew also plays a key role in guiding the translation of Spiderwort’s products through the clinical and regulatory landscape.

  • Arushi Raina is the Director of Commercialization and is responsible for bringing to market innovations that improve the lives of people with spinal cord injuries. She is passionate about developing and implementing strategy for private and public sector clients across healthcare and social services, among a number of other industries.

  • Uzma Samadani is a neurosurgeon and brain injury researcher at the University of Minnesota. She moved to Minneapolis in 2015 and was named to Minneapolis St-Paul Magazine’s “Top Doctors in Neurosurgery” lists in 2016 through 2019. In 2018 she was on the cover of the “Top Doctors” edition with the byline “The Doctor Will Save You Now.” In 2018 she also was awarded the “Courageous Women in Healthcare” award by the Women’s Health Leadership Trust. Minnesota Monthly dubbed her a “Top Doctor in Minnesota” in 2018 and 2019.

  • Dr. Alexander graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1982 and Jefferson Medical College in 1983. She did her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. She has worked at multiple model SCI systems and has previously served as the Project Director for the Northern New Jersey SCI System and the South Florida SCI System. She is well-known for her work on sexuality and spinal cord injury and has published over 100 articles and book chapters and given many international and national presentations regarding this and other topics related to SCI. Dr. Alexander led the initial development of the International Standards to Document Autonomic Function after Spinal Cord Injury in 2009 and the International Male and Female Sexual Function Data Sets. She also edited the textbook Sexual Function in Disability and Chronic Illness and produced the video Sexuality Reborn in conjunction with Dr. Craig Alexander. Dr. Alexander is Director of Integrative Health at the Birmingham VA Medical Center and Clinical Professor of Physical Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In addition, she runs a Telemedicine Sexuality Clinic at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston and is a Research Associate in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School.

  • Prof. Solzbacher is Director of the newly established Center for Engineering Innovation, Co-Director of the Utah Nanotechnology Institute, President and Executive Chairman of Blackrock Microsystems and of Blackrock Neuromed and holds faculty appointments in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Materials Science and Bioengineering at the University of Utah. His research focuses on harsh environment microsystems and materials, including implantable, wireless microsystems for biomedical and healthcare applications, and on high temperature and harsh environment compatible micro sensors.

  • Jason has a B.S. degree in Natural Sciences/Biology from the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Jason's love of outdoor adventure led him to work and play there as a mountaineer, long distance hiker, wild-land firefighter, search and rescue technician, EMT, and Law Enforcement Officer. A single vehicle rollover on his commute to work one morning resulted in an L1 Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) and paraplegia. He has now turned his energies toward SCI cure advocacy and participates as a manager for the Cure Advocacy Network as well as continuing to host the CureCast podcast with Matthew.

  • Dr. Keith Tansey holds multiple appointments, including as a professor in the University of Mississippi Medical Center's Departments of Neurosurgery and Neurobiology, and as a physician on the Research and Spinal Cord Injury Medicine Services at the Jackson VA Medical Center. He has been board-certified in neurology with subspecialty certifications in spinal cord injury medicine and neural repair and rehabilitation. He is past-president of the American Spinal Injury Association and has served on the boards of the American Society for Neurorehabilitation and the International Society for Restorative Neurology.

  • Dr. Taylor is the Principal Investigator for Spaulding’s Cardiovascular Research Lab. He holds a Ph.D. in physiology from the University of Arizona. He had postdoctoral fellowships at Duke University Medical School and the Medical College of Virginia before joining the Harvard Medical School Faculty. He is currently an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, Associate Chair for Research in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and a Fellow of the American Heart Association. He has published over 100 research articles on topics such as the impact of microgravity on blood pressure control in astronauts, the effects of exercise on human aging, and most recently the beneficial effects of functional electrical stimulation of the legs for rowing exercise in those with spinal cord injury.

  • Dr. Yarar-Fisher received her B.S. degree in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation from Baskent University in Turkey and her PhD in Neuromechanics at Auburn University. Following her PhD, she joined the UAB Nutrition and Obesity Research Center in the Department of Cell, Developmental, and Integrative Biology as an NIH-funded postdoctoral fellow. She worked under the primary mentorship of Dr. Marcas Bamman in the Core Muscle Research Laboratory. Her research focused on skeletal muscle metabolic adaptations to long-term spinal cord injury (SCI) and acute and chronic bouts of neuromuscular electrical stimulation, the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and adiposity in women with SCI, and the effects of high-intensity exercise and high-protein diet on muscle and whole-body metabolism in individuals with chronic spinal cord injury.