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. 



Two doctors and a research participant going over ultra scan results for Lypogems study

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 14 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 


  • Audio Description

    PODCAST: UH-OH, The Sky is Falling: Emergency Preparedness for People with Spinal Cord Injury, presented by Robin Bischoff.

  • Audio Description

    PODCAST: Stop, Focus, and Connect: an Introduction to the Formula for Creating or Strengthening Intimate Relationships", presented by Mitchell Tepper.

  • Audio Description

    PODCAST: Lower Extremity Bone Loss in Persons with Spinal Cord Injury: Research and Clinical Implications presented by Christopher Cirnigliaro and Jayne Donovan.

  • VIDEO: Bowel Management (Managing Medical Complications After Spinal Cord Injury – Part 1 of 3)

  • VIDEO: Pressure Ulcer Prevention (Managing Medical Complications After Spinal Cord Injury – Part 2 of 3)

  • Pneumonia Prevention (Managing Medical Complications After Spinal Cord Injury – Part 3 of 3)

More Videos  More Podcasts


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