|Our Summer Scholars Program has been providing opportunities for student researchers to work directly within the field of Neurobiology at The University of Louisville. Each intern joins a team focusing on a specific body system in participants with spinal cord injury (SCI). While working under a faculty mentor, students conduct research and administer assessments in order to collect and analyze data. At the end of the summer, each student researcher has the opportunity to document and present their findings to the entire KSCIRC Team.
Our 2020 Student Summer Scholars
Alec Adamov, is a rising Junior at The University of Wisconsin studying Pre-Med and Neurobiology. Alec was mentored by Dr. Ovechkin and his Summer Scholar Project research focused on “Transcutaneous stimulation as a cost effective, novel, and non-invasive intervention and effects on respiratory motor function in individuals with respiratory deficits as a result of spinal cord injury.”
Alec’s presentation outlined that spinal cord transcutaneous stimulation when combined with respiratory training was shown to improve respiratory motor function, induce postural improvement, and as a result, improve quality of life for individuals with spinal cord injuries. His project focused on comparing spinal cord transcutaneous stimulation as a cost-effective alternative to epidural stimulation to improve respiratory function.
Congratulations to Alec for his hard work as a Summer Scholar!
Joe Vondrasek, a student from Alma College, completed his Summer Scholar Project with the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Core under the mentorship of Dr. Ditterline. “My project was focused on comparing responses of blood pressure and heart rate during a head-up tilt-table test in persons with spinal cord injury. The participants in the study were split into groups based on how long they lasted in the tilt test. We found that level of injury is not always an accurate predictor of cardiovascular function because there were people who had a high-level cervical injury who were still able to complete the whole test without stopping.”
Joe believes there are clinical implications for this project, specifically that practitioners should consider the positional stress on the body and the cardiovascular system when providing care to a person with SCI, because every injury is different.
Congratulations to Joe for his hard work as a Summer Scholar!
Become a Summer Scholar
The strength of our Summer Scholar Program has been to provide a real hands-on opportunity to students interested in learning more about spinal cord injury research. Summer Scholar Interns have the opportunity to make a contribution to the field of SCI research with the hope of improving quality of life for those living with spinal cord injuries.
Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center only accepts a small cohort of student researchers each summer for this competitive internship. If you would like to apply to be considered for our Summer Scholar Program, please complete the following Application, then submit it, as directed on the Application, before April 1, 2021.
Alec Adamov, Summer Scholar, simulates a control data test subject.
Transcutaneous Stimulation Team: Yury Gerasimenko, PhD, D Sci; Eddie Brown, BS, MS, MBA; Alex Ovechkin, MD, PhD; and Alec Adamov, Summer Scholar.
Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Team: Shelley Wade, BA; RDCS, Joe Vondrasek, Summer Scholar; Bonnie E. Legg Ditterline, PhD; and Harley Ledbetter, BS.