Spinal cord injury

Spinal Cord Injury Map

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) is one of the main subcategories of Central Nervous System (CNS) trauma. These traumatic injuries, until nowadays, do not have medical or surgical care guidelines that guarantee complete neurological recovery. Patients suffer from multiple complications such as paralysis, sensory loss, bowel and bladder dysfunction, as well as circulatory and respiratory distress that might be fatal in some cases. Therefore, basic and clinical neuroscience researchers are extensively exploring the pathophysiology behind SCI to establish clinically relevant experimental models and to identify potential treatment strategies. In spite of this recent massive trend, experimental studies are difficult to translate to the human level, owing to many variables interfering in the experiments’ designs.

One of the great challenges of SCI pathophysiology, and neuro-trauma in general, is a simultaneous involvement of multiple cellular injury pathways. Such broad scope and potential complex interactions make it challenging for individual research groups to study and integrate all at once. These processes include: membrane mechanoporation, generation and damage due to reactive oxygen species, demyelination and oligodendrocyte death, neuronal apoptosis, and neuroinflammation. Moreover, the recent explosion of omics data creates a remarkable chance to discover new molecular and structural relationships between multiple variables in the pathological process of SCI.

In this project we are building a tool that can integrate many of these cellular processes in a spatially and temporally organized SCI context to help researchers to perceive the big picture of SCI and propose new strategies targeting multiple problems at once. Another goal that this project is establishing a link between the medical research literature and the omics data from different sources. This will pave the way towards integrating other disease maps and may offer insights into research for comorbidity pathways and treatment.

The objectives of the project are:

  1. Visual representation of a detailed overview of SCI pathophysiology mechanisms as well as the pharmacologic targets at the molecular level of the neural tissue.
  2. Curation of the sub-mechanisms of SCI, supported by text-mining approaches as well as gene expression patterns in the context of SCI.
  3. Providing spatial and temporal tracing of the main events during the development of the SCI, to create an accurate guide through the pathology.


Ahmed AlBayar ahmed.albayar@pennmedicine.upenn.edu
Basem I. Awad basemawad@mans.edu.eg

Development Team

Ahmed AlBayar Ahmed AlBayar, MD
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
Research Scholar at the Center for Brain Injury and Repair
Basem Awad Basem I. Awad, MD, MSc, PhD
Schoole of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt
Assistant Professor at the Department of Neurological Surgery, Member of the Office for International Scientific Relations
Venkata Satagopam Venkata Satagopam, PhD
University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Research Scientist at the Luxembourg Centre For Systems Biomedicine, Technical Coordinator of the ELIXIR-Luxembourg Node, Co-founder and CTO at ITTM
Stephan Gebel Stephan Gebel, PhD
University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Researcher, Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine
Project Manager, the Parkinson's disease map project
Marek Ostaszewski Marek Ostaszewski, PhD
University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Researcher, Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine

Editorial Panel

The list of domain experts is being confirmed.