Dr. Fenrich obtained a BSc in Pharmocology from the University of Alberta and a PhD in Physiology from Queen's University where he studied neuroplasticity and regeneration of spinal interneurons after spinal cord injury. He then did post-doctoral fellowships at the Institut de Biologie du Développement de Marseille and at the University of Alberta. During this time he studied the dynamics of neuro-immune cell interactions after spinal cord injury using novel intravital microscopy techniques, developed automated robotic systems to deliver and test the efficacy of rehabilitative training, and used optogenetic approaches to study the roles of specific interneuron populations in the recovery of walking and reduction of spasticity after spinal cord injury.
Currently, Dr. Fenrich is a Research Associate and Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. His research focuses on: (1) the pathophysiology of spinal cord injury in relation to the dynamic cellular interactions that occur after spinal cord injury; (2) promoting functional recovery after spinal cord injury using pharmacological approaches in combination with rehabilitative training to enhance therapeutic neuroplasticity; and (3) developing new methods and devices to better study and administer rehabilitative training after spinal cord injury. His main techniques include: combining genetic approaches with in vivo two-photon microscopy to visualize how various therapies affect dynamic changes and interactions between a variety cell populations in the injured spinal cord; optogenetic techniques to understand the roles of specific populations of neurons and supportive cells in the recovery of function after spinal cord injury; and developing and testing automated robotic systems to administer and test the efficacy of rehabilitative training after spinal cord injury.
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