McPherson Lab

About our work

The Plasticity, Monoamines, and Recovery of Function Laboratory (PMRF Lab), directed by Prof. Jacob McPherson, explores interrelationships between the neural control of movement and pain processing after stroke and spinal cord injury. We conduct both animal and human-subjects neurophysiology and neurological rehabilitation research.

Much of our work derives from the observation that injuries to the central nervous system frequently result both in movement impairments and changes in pain perception. Yet, while many therapies intended to target movement impairments also impact pain perception (and vice versa), these interventions are developed and evaluated primarily through the prism of the movement system or pain alone.

Our work is predicated on the notion that optimal therapies for restoring function after neurological injury must be grounded in a neuromechanistic understanding of the causes of impairment, which requires an integrative view of nervous system function and an interdisciplinary approach to research. The ultimate goal of our work is to develop therapeutic strategies that leverage the interconnectivity of brainstem-spinal sensory and motor networks to drive multi-modal rehabilitation.

We are particularly interested in strategies that facilitate and direct the intrinsic ability of the central nervous system to reorganize and repair, including strategies designed to enhance the therapeutic benefits of physical rehabilitation. Specific interests and areas of expertise include:

  • Pathologies: stroke, spinal cord injury.
  • Impairments: neural control of movement, neuropathic pain.
  • Physiology: spinal physiology, sensorimotor integration, neural plasticity, brainstem neuromodulation.
  • Techniques: physical rehabilitation, electrophysiology (animal and human), neuropharmacology, neural-computer interfaces, biophysical signal processing (neural, EMG, movement), robotics, and magnetic resonance imaging.

Learn more about the McPherson Lab

Contact Information

Jacob G. McPherson, PhD

4444 Forest Park Ave, Suite 1101
Campus Box 8502
St. Louis, MO 63108