Christopher West, PhD
Cell & Physiological Sciences
The University of British Columbia
Dr. Chris West’s research aims to understand the pathways that control cardiorespiratory and autonomic function after spinal cord injury and how to effectively manipulate them to improve the function of these systems. Dr. West’s laboratory uses a variety of animal models as well as studies in the clinical and athletic spinal cord injured population to take a translational approach to his research. Major findings of his lab are that the heart undergoes a rapid and sustained remodeling after spinal cord injury that culminates in reduced systolic function and cardiomyocyte atrophy. His lab has also shown that interventions which restore cardiac volumes and/or inotropic function post-injury are able to improve exercise capacity and cardiac reserve. Current studies are focused on developing novel acute and chronic interventions to target the loss of descending sympathetic input to the spinal cord after injury.