Brent Fedirchuk, AssociateProfessor

In order for mammals to produce purposeful movements, brain centers activate motor circuitry within the brainstem and spinal cord which then activate spinal nerve cells that project to and activate skeletal muscle (i.e. motoneurons). The resulting movement is a product of both the motor circuitry that has been activated and the properties of these "output" nerve cells. Recent work has shown that the membrane properties of the motoneurons themselves are altered during a behavior. This modulation may be a means of "priming" these cells for participation in the movement, and therefore may play an important role in shaping the final motor output. My research investigates the mechanisms underlying this priming of nerve cells for a motor output, and will specifically assess the contributions of these mechanisms in altering the excitability of nerve cells during a motor behavior such as walking. My research program uses both in vitro and in vivo experimental preparations, and may provide insights into potential strategies for optimizing motor function in patients with damage to their motor system from spinal cord injury, or a disease state.

Academic Achievements

  • Ph.D. (Physiology), Univ. of Manitoba, 1994
  • Postdoctoral Fellowships, Copenhagen Univ., 1993-95
  • Postdoctoral Fellowships, N.I.H., 1995-96
  • Research Associate (Physiology), Univ. of Manitoba, 1996-2000
  • Assistant Professor (Physiology), Univ. of Manitoba, 2000-2005
  • Associate Professor (Physiology), Univ of Manitoba, 2005-present

See Also:
Spinal Cord Research Centre Profile
Search PubMed for publications by Fedirchuk B

University of Manitoba
Department of Physiology
410E Basic Med Sci Bldg
745 Bannnatyne Avenue
Winnipeg MB CANADA
R3E 0J9

Tel:    204 789 3762
Fax:   204 789 3930