In This Section


A Message from George Smith, PhD
Interim Director, Shriners Hospitals Pediatric Research Center

Welcome to the Shriners Hospitals Pediatric Research Center (Center for Neural Repair and Rehabilitation).  Our Center is a collaboration between the Shriners Hospitals for Children and Temple University School of Medicine. The Center opened in October 2009 in Temple’s brand new Medical Education and Research Building, where it occupies the entire 6th floor (23,000 usable square feet). In addition to the new laboratory research program, the Center includes a strong, well-established clinical research program in pediatric neurorehabilitation. The clinical studies are carried out in the Shriners Hospital across the street. This is one of three Shriners hospitals nationwide specializing in spinal cord injury and related neuromuscular disorders. The mission of the Center is to do research that will develop therapies for injuries to the nervous system in children, focusing on mechanisms of neural repair and plasticity.

The Center is organized into three highly interactive teams of scientists dedicated to research on repair of the spinal cord, brain and peripheral nerve.

  • The Spinal Cord Team focuses on issues relating to repair and plasticity in the injured pediatric spinal cord.
  • The Brain Team focuses on cerebral palsy and traumatic brain injury.
  • The Neuromuscular Team focuses on repair in the injured peripheral nervous system of children, for example children with Erb’s paralysis (brachial plexus birth palsy).

The research facilities are outstanding, and the Center is strategically located one floor above the animal facility and one floor below the Department of Neuroscience.

The Center is young and still recruiting. When it is complete, in addition to the nine clinical researchers that are currently on board, it will house between 14 and 16 full time basic science faculty. The Center also has a large associated faculty in several departments within Temple University and at Drexel and Thomas Jefferson Universities.


George Smith, PhD
Interim Director, Shriners Hospitals Pediatric Research Center