Introduction to LSCIRC

The London Spinal Cord Injury Research Centre (LSCIRC) is based at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH). It is a collaboration between the London Spinal Cord Injury Centre at RNOH and the UCL ASPIRE Centre for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology (CREATe).

LSCIRC comprises a group of multidisciplinary healthcare professionals who carry out applied clinical research into all areas that are relevant to spinal cord injury patients including bladder, bowel and sexual function, respiratory function, rehabilitation, assistive technology, upper limb function and care pathways.

The LSCIRC carries out a mixture of externally and internally funded research projects as well as being involved in larger multicentre clinical trials.

The London Spinal Cord Injury Research Centre endeavours to carry out high quality clinical research which aims to improve the lives of people living with a spinal cord injury. Our research strategy includes:

  • Clinical research related to the priorities and needs of spinal cord injured patients
  • Developing clinically relevant functional outcome measures to be used in conjunction with emerging cellular based regeneration / repair therapies
  • Commercially funded clinical trials or drugs and devices
  • Increasing the public understanding of SCI research through collaboration with SCI charities and user groups.

The James Lind Alliance in collaboration with the Spinal Cord Injury Association recently published the results of a Priority Setting Partnership into the priorities and needs of spinal cord injured patients and carers.

Further information:

James Lind Alliance


Stoke Mandeville Spinal Foundation SCI

Further studies have also highlighted the research priorities of people living with spinal cord injury which include restoration of upper limb, bladder, bowel and sexual function.

Steering Group:
Dr Alex Lowe, Clinical Lead, Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine
Dr Sarah Knight, Scientific Lead, Clinical Scientist / Associate Professor UCL
Mr Manish Desai, Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine
Mr David Baxter, Consultant Neurosurgeon
Sue Paddison - Lead Specialist Physiotherapist
Emma Linley - Lead Specialist Occupational Therapist
Rachel Deegan - Clinical Nurse Specialist Tissue Viability
Helen Smith, Consultant Psychologist
Dr Rui Loreiro - ASPIRE / CREATe Reader
Dr Tom Carlson - ASPIRE / CREATe Lecturer
Dr Lynsey Duffell - ASPIRE / CREATe Lecturer

EXO4UL - Assessment of a Robotic Exoskeleton for Upper Limb Rehabilitation of SCI Patients

  • Emma Linley in collaboration with The University of Liverpool
  • Assess the efficacy of a commercial robotic orthosis for upper limb rehabilitation in patients with spinal cord injury
  • Funded by: Stoke Mandeville Spinal Research

FIGS - Feasibility Study of Intra-vesical Gentamicin in the Prevention of Recurrent UTIs in People with SCI

  • Sarah Knight & Evangeline Martinez
  • 3 month trial of home-based instillation of gentamicin into the bladder to reduce recurrent urinary tract infections in people with SCI who use intermittent catheterisation
  • Inclusion: SCI, > 16 years of age, using ISC, > 3 UTIs per year
  • Funded by: Stoke Mandeville Spinal Research

iCycle 2 - Recovery of function through cycling therapy with Virtual Reality biofeedback in chronic SCI

  • Lynsey Duffell & Sue Paddison
  • A feasibility study to determine the optimum duration of training for functional recovery using  FES-cycling with virtual reality
  • Inclusion: Chronic SCI
  • Funded by: INSPIRE

ImPRESS - Improving Pelvic Rehabilitation using Epidural Stimulation after SCI

  • Lynsey Duffell, David Baxter, Tacson Fernandez, Sarah Knight, Sean Doherty, Hannah Houliston, Natalia Vasquez, Evangeline Martinez
  • Investigating epidural spinal cord stimulation to target bladder and bowel function following SCI
  • Inclusion: Chronic SCI (>1 year post-injury), Neurogenic Detrusor Overactivity
  • Funded by: Brain Research UK, and International Spinal Research Trust (ISRT), Injured Jockey Fund

Managing the risks of pressure ulcer in spinal cord injury

  • Evangeline Martinez
  • Investigating the attitudes and practices of self-management in the prevention of pressure uclers among people with SCI in the community
  • Inclusion: Adults (18 and over), chronic SCI (3-months after discharge from hospital)
  • Funded by: British Skin Foundation

SCI-MT - Early and intensive motor training for people with spinal cord injuries

  • Sue Paddinson with international collaboration
  • Multicentre pragmatic trial. Two groups, usual care (rehabilitation) vs usual care (rehabilitation) plus intensive motor training for 12 hours per week for 10 weeks
  • Funded by: NSW Ministry of Health, and Wings for Life

UpSTIM - Cervical transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation to promote recovery of upper limb function

  • Joe Steel, Emma Linley, Sue Paddison, Lynsey Duffell, and Sarah Massey
  • Investigating the feasability of adding transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation to inpatient rehabilitation, targeting upper limbs in people with acute spinal cord injury. 
  • Funded by: RFU Injured Player's Foundation and INSPIRE Foundation

We are seeking volunteers who would like to become actively involved in research undertaken at the LSCIC.

Public involvement means more than just participating as a subject in a research study. It means playing an active role in the development of new projects and setting priorities for research into new treatments and management.

If you would like to find out more, please send your details to or visit the Patient & Public Involvement (PPI) webpage.

The NHS also has a dedicated Patient and Public Involvement Organisation called INVOLVE.

For more information about any of the projects described please send an email to

London Spinal Cord Injury Centre
Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital
Brockley Hill
Tel: 020 3947 0606