CORD (Collaboration On Repair Discoveries)

Formed in 1995, CORD is an Inter-departmental / Inter-Faculty Research Group concerned with neurotrauma (spinal cord and brain injuries). Current faculty members hold appointments in the Faculties of Science, Medicine, Applied Science and Education. We are also recognized as the dedicated neurotrauma research group by Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Centre. 

Members of CORD provide information to the community on all aspects of neurotrauma injury, clinical care, and research advances to improve the outcomes of neurotrauma disabilities. This information is geared towards patients, families and friends of people with neurotrauma injuries (spinal cord and brain damage), as well as, hopefully, stimulating UBC colleagues (traditionally outside the field of neurotrauma or neuroscience) to bring their expertise and experience to issues and problems associated with neural disabilities

Funded by research grants, endowments, university funding and fundraising, CORD receives the generous support of several UBC departments and faculties, the Rick Hansen Institute and the Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Centre.

Several issues face CORD as we move into the future, the two most important being access to coordinated administration for research planning and priorities, the dissemination of information, and access or delivery of services, and the need for contiguous research space for CORD members to encourage the valuable interaction and collaboration between faculty and students. We hope that CORD can serve as an example to the Faculties and Departments at UBC of how, with adequate support, inter-faculty activities can strengthen the delivery of education, research and service programs. Mission

To address the challenges of neurotrauma injuries (in general) and spinal cord injuries (in particular) as well as to facilitate rapid development of effective therapies, while providing the best environment for training highly qualified personnel, CORD will advance innovative:           

·        basic science research,

·        applied clinical care,

·        rehabilitation programs, and

·        neurotrauma prevention programs. Specific Goals:

·        Identify the mechanisms of neural development that would stimulate new strategies for neural repair after adult spinal cord damage,

·        Develop experimental therapies to facilitate functional repair of spinal cord injuries.

·        Evaluate new clinical treatment and management paradigms, as well as maintain comprehensive patient databases and outcomes profiles.

·        Participate with community partners in the design and implementation of assistive devices and evidence-based rehabilitation programs to speed re-activeation of a fulfilling life-style.

·        Develop effective injury prevention programs, especially those related to young people. History:

In September 1995, CORD was officially identified as a dedicated research group. Since then, CORD has developed rapidly and currently comprises 18 affiliated UBC faculty and VH&HSC members and more than 60 trainees (graduate students and fellows), primarily within the Faculties of Science, Applied Science and Medicine. Research grants and training fellowships obtained by CORD members exceed $2.3 million dollars per year. CORD members have been the recipients of numerous national and international honours.

In addition, with the support of The Rick Hansen Institute (RHI), The BC Neurotrauma Fund, UBC and individual donations, CORD has benefited from the establishment of endowments totaling over $7 million dollars. The BC Provincial government created an ongoing  $2 million / year fund (The BC Neurotrauma Fund) to provide dedicated support for BC programs directed to the prevention, rehabilitation and research of spinal cord and brain injuries (i.e. neurotrauma).

CORD was an active participant in helping RHI to create the BC Neurotrauma Fund. Personnel

John Steeves (Zoology/Neurosurgery/Anatomy) – Biomedical Research

Trainees and Technicians:

Roya Azanchi (M.Sc.)

Greg Gillespie (M.Sc.)

John McGraw (Ph.D.)

Giovanna Bernal (B.Sc.)

Jacqui Hudson (B.Sc.)

Rishard Salie (Ph.D.)

Jaimie Borisoff (Ph.D.)

Leanne Lewis (M.Sc.)

Darren Sutherland (Tech)


Other Staff:

Jason Dyer (Research Assoc.)        Cheryl Niamath (Admin Assistant)


Wolfram Tetzlaff (Zoology/Neurosurgery) -  Biomedical Research

Trainees and Technicians:

Carmen Chan (M.Sc.)

Oren Oschipok (Ph.D.)

Jackie Vanderluit (Ph.D.)

Kourosh Khodarahmi (M.Sc.)

Ward Plunet (Ph.D.)

Chris McBride (Post-doc)

Brian Kwon (M.Sc.)

Egidio Spinelli (M.Sc.)

Jie Liu (Research Assoc.)

Lowell McPhail (Ph.D.)

Dave Stirling (M.Sc.)

Gordon Hiebert (Research Assoc.)


Vanessa Auld (Zoology) - Biomedical Research

Trainees and Technicians:

Joost Schulte (PhD)

Christina MacKinnon (Ph.D.)

Mary Gilbert (PDF)

Katherine Sepp (PDF)

Claudia Salinas technician

Dennis Venema (Ph.D.)


Tim O’Connor (Anatomy/Zoology) - Biomedical Research

Trainees and Technicians:

Jennifer Bonner,  (Ph. D)

Thorlief Thorlin,  (PDF)

Vincent Chan, (B.Sc.)

Arthur Legg, (M. Sc.)

Winnie Wang, PDF/Tech


Eve Boileau, (M. Sc.)

Kim Gerrow, Tech.



Jane Roskams (Psychiatry/Zoology) - Biomedical Research

Trainees and Technicians:

Edmund Au

Jimmy Thai (B.Sc. Hon)

Hannder Janjua (B.Sc. Hon)

Catherine Cowan (PhD.)

Jenny Cheng (PhD)

Joellen Fuong (B.Sc. Hon)

Lindsay Carter (PhD)

Lisa Garcia (B.Sc.)

Kenny To (B.Sc. Hon)


Philip Horner (starting Jan 1, 2001 – CORD / Zoology / Neurosurgery) – Biomedical Research


Felix Durity (Neurosurgery) – Clinically Applied


Marcel Dvorak (Orthopaedics) – Clinically Applied


Stacy Elliott (Rehab Medicine) – Clinically Applied


Janice Eng (Rehab) – Clinically Applied

Trainees and Technicians:

M Kim (M.Sc.)

H Underwood, MD,
 Physiatry Resident

Charles Fisher (Orthopaedics) – Clinically Applied

L Inster (M.Sc.)

B Ott, (M.Sc.)



Thomas Oxland (Orthopaedics / Mechanical Engineering) – Clinically Applied

Trainees and technicians:

P. Grant

H. Frei

W. Taha


D. Liu



T. Pitzen

Z. Jehta

T. Nydegger

D. Blanchette

D. Samarasekera


Linda Siegel (Education) – Clinically Applied

Trainees and technicians:

Kaveh Farrokh (PhD)

Pam Ottley

Winnifred Tang

Kim Koh

Nonie Lesaux (MA)

Joanna Lee (MEd)

Orly Lipka

Kim Kozuki

Ayala Reshef


Peter Wing (Orthopaedics) – Clinically Applied

Tom Zwimpfer (Neurosurgery / Zoology) – Clinically Applied Funding

Some grants currently held by CORD members in the Zoology Department:

Wolfram Tetzalff





BC-Neurotrauma Foundation




BC-Neurotrauma Foundation




BC-Neurotrauma Foundation (shared with Dr. Steeves)








John Steeves





BC Neurotrauma Fund

(shared with Wolfram Tetzlaff)








BC Neurotrauma Fund




Vanessa Auld





BC Neurotrauma Fund













International Scholars Operating Grant





Zoology graduate students working with CORD Faculty members received $88,000 in studentships and travel / research grants from the BC Neurotrauma Fund in 1999, and $110,000 in 2000. In addition to this, Post-doctoral Research Fellows working with CORD faculty received almost $130,000 in grant support in 2000.

In addition to research grants, CORD has endowments totaling more than $7 million.

More information about CORD and its researchers is available at