Parr Lab

Ann Parr working with members of her lab teamAs a board-certified neurosurgeon and head of the Parr Laboratory, Dr. Ann Parr brings a unique perspective to her work in human spinal cord injury (SCI). The overall goal of her lab’s research is to develop new therapies for SCI. The lab team is most interested in studying the unmet needs of those with chronic spinal cord injury as any advances would have significant impact. The long-term goal is for their research to culminate in treatments that are clinically available.

With their long-term goal in mind, the Parr Laboratory team has discovered novel methods of producing human autologous, regionally specific spinal neural progenitor cells and is exploring how these mediate functional recovery after transplantation into an injured spinal cord. There is increasing evidence, however, that these cells alone may not be sufficient, requiring a multi-modal approach.

To that end, the lab partners with the Spinal Cord Society, a nonprofit organization that has provided equipment, knowledge, and expertise. The partnership has enabled the Parr Lab to develop several strategies. One example is using a novel scar ablation technique in combination with the lab’s human autologous, regionally specific spinal neural progenitor cells, a unique scaffold developed in collaboration with the U of M’s McAlpine Research Group, and transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation to examine interactions among these therapies in a rodent model.

Parr Lab Photo Collage

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