Carmen M. Cirstea, MD, PhD

Assistant Research Professor, Director Brain Plasticity & Recovery Laboratory

University of Missouri – Columbia (MU)

For over 13 years, my research program has focused on the neural mechanisms underlying recovery of function after neurological injury, as might occur in stroke, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury. My research has concentrated on the roles that brain injury, post-injury behavioral experience, and their interactions play in modulating the physiology and anatomy of spared brain regions, and ultimately on the relationship between post-injury neuroplasticity and the recovery process. Although much has been learned in the last decades, restoration of arm and hand function continues to be an unaccomplished goal for over seven million stroke survivors in the US. New treatment approaches are greatly needed. The main tools I use are state-of-the-art neuroimaging techniques, ambulatory behavioral measures, human motion analysis, and non-invasive brain stimulation.