The Whelan Lab

The Whelan Lab

Understanding the mechanisms that promote walking.

About Us

Our work centers on understanding the mechanisms that promote walking. Our work is relevant to many medical conditions where gait is affected including spinal cord injury, stroke and MS. We know that rehabilitation can induce plasticity in brain circuits at the level of the spinal cord and brain. We are interested in understanding the structure and function of brain circuits and in testing drugs that activate these centres. We also are interested in controlling neuropathic pain and understanding how pathological effects of pain on walking can be controlled. Gait rehabilitation and pain control represent two major areas of brain dysfunction that greatly impact the quality of life for those afflicted.

Orexin | Dopamine | Spinal Cord Injury

Our lab makes use of a cells to systems approach to study:

  1. Modulation of spinal network and cellular properties generating rhythmic motor activity underlying walking
  2. Modulation of spinal circuits controlling stepping in the adult mouse
  3. Descending modulation of locomotor behavior in freely-behaving mice
  4. Contribution of descending modulatory pathways to recovery following spinal cord injury
Dr. Patrick Whelan

Dr. Patrick Whelan