Peter J. Grahn, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic predoctoral student, Neurobiology Disease Track, and Kendall H. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurosurgery at Mayo Clinic, discuss Dr. Grahn's background and research. In 2005 he experienced a cervical spinal cord injury, spurring his interest in spinal cord research.
Dr. Grahn joined the Mayo Neural Engineering Laboratories to assist in the effort to reach a cure for people who have chronic paralysis. Dr. Grahn's thesis research includes the use of a wirelessly controlled electrical stimulator in a rodent model of paralysis that had been paralyzed for seven days. Researchers stimulated within the spinal cord using a technique called intraspinal microstimulation and they wirelessly controlled that stimulation to restored hind limb responses. Dr. Grahn ultimately hopes to develop technologies to restore function through intraspinal and epidural stimulation and translate those technologies to clinical use.