Reeve-Irvine Research Medals were awarded Tuesday night to scientists Hughes Barbeau and Susan Harkema.
The medal is awarded each year by the Reeve-Irvine Research Center at the University of California, Irvine, to individuals who have made recent and critical contributions to promote the repair of damaged spinal cords and recovery of function. The Reeve-Irvine research center was launched in 1996 by Christopher Reeve and philanthropist Joan Irvine Smith. Smith presented the medals to the winners at a dinner gala.
Harkema, a neurological rehabilitation researcher at Frazier Rehab Institute and the University of Louisville, directs the Reeve Foundation's NeuroRecovery Network. Her research team works to understand the nervous system during human locomotion, with a focus on retraining it to stand and step after spinal cord injury.
Barbeau, from McGill University in Montreal, studies the physiology of the spinal cord as it relates to locomotion.
(Photo - left to right: Hughes Barbeau, Reeve-Irvine Medal winner; Susan Howley, Reeve Foundation Executive VP, Research; Susan Harkema, Reeve-Irvine Medal winner; Serge Rossignol, previous Medal winner and acknowledged mentor of Barbeau.)