The prize is presented annually to the top ranked spinal cord researcher identified through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research's (CIHR) investigator-initiated grants competition. Stein receives the award after more than 40 years working as a neuroscientist in the field of physiology and studying ways to help people with spinal cord injuries improve their ability to move. In the early 1990s, Stein began work that led to the creation of the WalkAide System, an electrical stimulation device that today helps thousands of people who have difficulty walking due to any number of central nervous system disorders.
Stein's latest CIHR-funded research is even more ambitious than the WalkAide project. In collaboration with colleagues in the University of Alberta, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, Stein is working to develop an Intra Spinal Micro Stimulation (ISMS) device that may be placed on the spinal cord of a paralyzed person to help them walk. But unlike the few ISMS devices that already exist, the tool Stein is working to create will also record sensory feedback coming from the muscles and nerves in the legs and hips.
"Through his excellent and innovative work, Stein has already helped thousands of people affected with spinal cord injuries. This award will allow him to continue research to give a better life to those paralyzed," said Dr. Rémi Quirion, Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction.
MEDICA.de; Source: Canadian Institutes of Health Research