Jordan Squair

Research Topic

Autonomic dysfunction following spinal cord injury: mechanisms, novel treatments, and clinical reality

Research Group

Krassioukov/West Lab

Research Description

My research is focused on understanding the cardiovascular consequences of spinal cord injury. Recently, my research group has identified that individuals with spinal cord injury are 300-400% more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease (i.e. stroke, myocardial infarction, cardiac disease) than the general population. Thus, my doctoral work will specifically focus on developing novel strategies (i.e. neuroprotection, plasticity manipulation) to restore and/or maintain descending control of crucial autonomic structures below the level of injury. Using these strategies, I will aim to reduce blood pressure lability, restore cardiac function, and thereby reduce this population’s dramatic cardiovascular disease risk burden.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

In addition to being one of the top universities in Canada, UBC is tightly linked with The International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD), located at the Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) site. ICORD is a world-renowned research facility and a leader in spinal cord injury research. ICORD offers a unique opportunity, found in few other places in the world, to conduct a wide range of discovery and clinical science under one roof. Given my background in spinal cord injury research and my strong desire to continue working in this field, ICORD offers an outstanding research environment not found at other institutions. Combined with UBC's outstanding medical program, this made it a logical choice to complete my MD/PhD at.

 

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

The MD/PhD program at UBC provides a unique environment in which I can combine my interests in both clinical medicine and research. My research area for the past several years has been in the field of spinal cord injury and specifically what methods we might be able to use to improve motor and cardiovascular control. The MD/PhD program does a great job of encouraging translational research and I believe this will help me moving forward in my career as I seek to understand the mechanisms and novel treatment strategies for spinal cord injury and to bring these insights to the clinic.