Research at Northern California
David Pleasure, MD:
Shriners Northern California has a number of different clinical programs; one in burns, one in orthopedics, one in spinal cord and one in general surgery. The research side of things makes an effort to cover those areas as well. Our research is aimed at improving the care of kids with all of those.
Diana Farmer, MD:
The most exciting thing about being a surgeon scientist is that we can bring the bedside to the bench and the bench to the bedside all of the time. We see the problems in real time that need to be solved, and we take them back to our research labs and work on them immediately. That is one of the great things about being a translational scientist, as we call it.
Loren Davidson, MD:
The exciting areas of research for spinal cord injury include stem cells, regenerating neural tissue, and also electrical stimulation to the spinal cord in areas below the level of injury. Historically, we had thought that electrical stimulation below the level of injury, late after the injury, really wouldn't have much meaningful impact, meaning it wasn't possible to have much change in neurologic function a year or more after injury. We're finding that we need to rethink that because we're actually able to see patients with spinal cord injury regain function years after what we thought was a now permanent chronic condition.
David Greenhalgh, MD:
A lot of the research that the entire burn program at Shriners really advanced how we survive after burns and how people do, not only survive, but progress to as normal life as possible has been incredible.
As a result of the research that's done by the Shriners Hospitals, we can provide a better service to our patients who are our children. They're our kids.
David Pleasure, MD:
So I think we have a catalytic function. We want to have a worldwide impact, not just an impact within the Shriners system.