The Spence Lab

About The Spence Lab

As a group we are interested in the neuromechanical basis of locomotion. Evolution has produced animals (including humans) with breath-taking abilities. Legged animals gallop, climb, and jump through complex, uncertain environments. We are challenged with discovering the mechanisms by which legged systems achieve these feats. If we can discover the general principles of how biological systems move, then we can advance both biology and medicine, whilst inspiring new technology. In recent years, we have an additional new focus on applied work, using genetic tools to aid in neuromuscular injuries and disorders. In ongoing work we are using chemogenetics tools (DREADDs) to modulate afferent feedback, hoping to improve recovery from spinal cord injury, and discover how treatments like epidural electrical stimulation (EES) work. This work is in collaboration with Profs. Michel Lemay in BioE and George Smith at Temple Neuroscience. We take an integrative approach. In the words of Karl Popper, we are students of problems, not disciplines. There is no reason to think the best tools to solve a given problem will come from within one discipline. Further, we strive to integrate across length scales to give more accurate understanding, and to tightly integrate theory and experiment.

1 job with The Spence Lab