Sabhya Rana Awarded Parker B. Francis Fellowship for SCI Research


BREATHE trainee & Fuller Lab postdoc, Dr. Sabhya Rana, was among the 13 awardees for the 2023 Parker B. Francis Fellowship Program. This fellowship will support her work in Direct Current Stimulation to Restore Breathing Following Spinal Cord Injury. Respiratory dysfunction is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality for individuals who have experienced a cervical spinal cord injury (SCI). Thus, there is an urgent need to develop therapies that can restore breathing function following SCI. Dr. Rana and her team propose to develop a noninvasive spinal stimulation strategy to enhance breathing function in acute and chronic stages following SCI. They will also test whether the efficacy of this strategy can be enhanced by taking ampakines, a novel drug that makes the spinal cord more “excitable” and receptive to the stimulation. Mentor Dr. David Fuller notes that Dr. Rana “has proposed very innovative methods to promote respiratory muscle activation after spinal cord injury with extremely promising initial results.” Beyond SCI, the proposed research also has considerable translational potential and can be adapted to other neuromuscular diseases, such as ALS and Pompe disease. Congrats, Dr. Rana!