Megan A. Buchanan, PhD
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Washington University in St. Louis (WU)
My doctoral research interest centers around investigating if altered neural transmission in brainstem-spinal pathways drives maladaptive neural plasticity in spinal sensorimotor pathways and their contributory role in debilitating movement impairments and neuropathic pain that are often observed clinically following stroke and spinal cord injury. Currently, I am developing a suite of custom software applications that will allow us to rigorously quantify neural transmission in these spinal sensorimotor pathways. My research involves electrophysiological and pharmacological experiments in animal models of spinal cord injury that will lay the foundation for experiments in human research participants during later stages of my doctoral training. Through my doctoral research I hope to contribute to our fundamental understanding of neural plasticity and learning in the spinal cord and to develop new, mechanism-based approaches for treatment of the complex sensorimotor deficits that emerge after stroke and spinal cord injury.