A new feature was recently published on Dr Fehlings and his research in the research dissemination magazine International Innovation. Electronic versions of the article can be downloaded using the links below. The short piece contains an interview with Dr. Fehlings as well as an overview of his research objectives, funding partners and collaborators.

PDF – Intl Innovation 144 – Dr Michael Fehlings – low-res

PDF – Intl Innovation 144 – Dr Michael Fehlings – high-res


Barbara Turnbull, age 50, died Sunday, May 10th 2015, as a result of respiratory complications. Paralyzed at age 18, Barbara forged on to have a successful career as a journalist reporting for the Toronto Star. During this time, she adopted several causes, including raising awareness for organ donation programs and raising funds for scientific research. Her eventual creation of the Barbara Turnbull Foundation has led to increased public awareness and funding for spinal cord research through events such as the annual Tator-Turnbull lectureship.

Dr Michael Fehlings reflected on the loss of his long-time acquaintance, “She was a woman of fierce courage and bravery who inspired many. She will be missed.”

In recognition of Barbara’s final struggle, efforts are being made to make this year’s annual Tator-Turnbull lectureship a special one. “This year’s Tator-Turnbull lectureship will be a poignant one. As we remember Barbara Turnbull’s life, we must recognize all she accomplished and all the challenges she faced. The loss of such an inspirational individual will surely serve to drive our research efforts even harder.”

This year’s Tator-Turnbull lectureship will be held Friday, November 13th, 2015. As always, it will be free and open to the public. Information on the lectureship can be found here, and at the Barbara Turnbull Foundation website. As respiratory complications are a major cause of mortality after spinal cord injury, the Fehlings lab will also be hosting one of the world’s leading scientists investigating respiratory neural networks, Professor Jack Feldman, on Monday September 21st. Details can be found here


Fehlings lab research on the blogosphere!
The Fehlings team were delighted to have our publication regarding Riluzole and its protective effects on ischemia-reperfusion injury after surgical decompression for degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) accepted to Science Translational Medicine and published last year [Science Translational Medicine]. DCM is a common cause of spinal cord impairment in the elderly. This paper links results from human research, showing that some patients experience deterioration after surgery for degenerative cervical myelopathy, with evidence from an animal model suggesting a mechanism for this deterioration (ischemia-reperfusion injury), in addition to reporting findings from this animal model that Riluzole can protect against this effect. Understanding this mechanism gives further support to the ongoing trial of this drug in DCM [CSM-Protect trial – clinicaltrials.gov]

We were further delighted to partner with External Diffusion, earlier this year to have this research made a feature in a blog post to reach an even wider and less specalised audience than the original scientific paper. Read all about this here [http://www.externaldiffusion.com/]



by Madeleine O’Higgins, Communications Specialist in Fehlings Lab