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Plenary #4 - Wings for Life Lecture: Dr Michael Kilgard

Track 1
Track 2
Track 3
Thursday, September 3, 2020
2:00 PM - 2:55 PM
Auditorium - Track 1


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Prof Michael Kilgard
Margaret Fonde Jonsson Professor Of Neuroscience
University Of Texas At Dallas

Directing Synaptic Plasticity to Treat Chronic Spinal Cord Injury

2:00 PM - 2:55 PM


Lecture Outline:

1. Rehabilitation promotes recovery via synaptic plasticity
2. Vagus nerve stimulation enhances chronic stroke recovery in animal models and patients
3. Vagus nerve stimulation enhances recovery in animal models of spinal cord injury
4. Neural mechanisms for promoting recovery after chronic SCI
5. Clinical trial design
6. Conclusions


Dr. Kilgard trained in biochemistry and genetics at UC Berkeley and in neuroscience at UC San Francisco. He is the Margaret Fonde Jonnson Professor and directs the Texas Biomedical Device Center. Dr. Kilgard has published more than 120 paper in peer reviewed journals, including Nature, Science, Neuron, and Stroke. Dr. Kilgard holds 25 U.S. patents. His work is supported by DARPA, NINDS, NIDCD, the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation Fund at Communities Foundation of Texas, and Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation. His research is focused on understanding the mechanisms that regulate neural plasticity in order to develop clinical tools to treat neurological and psychiatric conditions using precisely targeted synaptic plasticity. Dr. Kilgard’s laboratory uses behavioral training, environmental enrichment, drug therapy, deep brain stimulation and peripheral nerve stimulation methods to enhance neural plasticity. Over the last decade, his lab has developed treatments for spinal cord injury, tinnitus, PTSD, and stroke that employ brief bursts of vagus nerve stimulation paired with sensory stimulation or movement to direct therapeutic plasticity. These treatments are highly effective in animal models and are now being tested in randomized clinical trials.