Center for Spinal Cord Injury Research

Man in wheel chair being helped by research assistant going down outdoor stairs

Center for Spinal Cord Injury Research

Restoring Function and Activity after SCI

Living with spinal cord injury presents a multitude of challenges - from maintaining health to achieving maximal independence.  Addressing these challenges entails collaborative research, educational outreach, and training of professionals in research and care.  Our ultimate goal is to develop ways to fully restore individuals with spinal cord injury to their pre-injury levels of function, activity, and quality of life. 

A woman is sitting in a wheelchair next to her male personal care assistant at an outside table surrounded by greenery. Both are smiling broadly.

Enhance Your Spinal Cord Injury Caregiving Expertise

Enroll in our free, online education course designed to provide training for personal care assistants and others who work with individuals with spinal cord injury. The course introduces learners to the physical and emotional experience of living with SCI and offers suggestions for building positive working relationships.

Learn More About This Course Enroll for Free

Exploring Applications of Regenerative Rehabilitation

Shoulder injuries are a common cause of pain and loss of function among manual wheelchair users with spinal cord injury. When medication and physical therapy fail to address the pain, regenerative rehabilitation offers a new alternative to surgery. For chronic shoulder pain, a procedure using the Lipogems® system is being tested for the first time in individuals with SCI. The procedure involves injecting a sample of the person’s own fat into the shoulder joint under ultrasound guidance. Fat tissue provides cushioning and fills structural defects, and may deposit bioactive and regenerative elements in the damaged tissues. Early results are promising in this population. 

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The Center for SCI Research provides updates on research, educational resources, and events for professionals and consumers through Connections newsletter and FaceBook support page


comprehensive listing of resources of interest to individuals with SCItheir families and caregivers.


Northern New Jersey Spinal Cord Injury System graphic logo in green and blue colors
Achieving Excellence in Care and Research Since 1990, Kessler has participated in the federal Spinal Cord Injury Model System (SCIMS), a national network of care and research that begins with acute care and extends through rehabilitation, returning to school, the community and the workplace, and aging with SCI. One of 18 model systems, the Northern New Jersey SCI System (NNJSCIS) fosters collaborative research that addresses the needs of the SCI community across the lifecycle, translates findings into clinical care, and provides resources for individuals with SCI and their caregivers.

 Learn more about the NNJSCIS 

man on wheelchair with female companion in a tournament event

Living to the Fullest with No Shoulder Pain

Joe Monteforte sustained a spinal cord injury (SCI) from a construction accident. Paralyzed from the waist down, he learned to propel in a wheelchair, which put added stress and pain in his shoulders. Thanks to your generosity, he joined Kessler Foundation’s regenerative medicine study, regaining strength and function to move forward with his life.

Now, Joe’s shoulder is pain free and he can transfer in and out of his wheelchair and car independently, go for five-mile strolls in the park with his wife, and help around the house.

Woman with a exoskeleton mechanism that enables her to walk.

Join a Research Study Today

Join a Research Study Form

Volunteers are the heart of our research. Provide your information below to join our secure participant database. You will hear from our recruitment team about research study opportunities.

Volunteers Are the Heart of Our Research

Provide your information below to hear from our recruitment team about research studies for which you may be eligible.

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