Dr. Keith Tansey joined Shepherd Center as Director of Spinal Cord Injury Research in 2008 and simultaneously was appointed to the Departments of Neurology and Physiology at Emory University School of Medicine and to the Spinal Cord Injury Clinic at the Atlanta VA Medical Center.
Dr. Tansey completed his B.S. and M.S. in Biology and Biomechanics at Stanford University and then completed his M.D. and Ph.D in Neuroscience at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where his dissertation research focused on spinal cord physiology. He completed his residency training in neurology at Washington University in St. Louis and then fellowships in spinal cord injury research and neurorehabilitation at Washington University and at the University of California Los Angeles. He returned to UT Southwestern and directed the Spinal Cord Injury Program there before he moved to Shepherd Center.
Dr. Tansey is board certified in Neurology and Spinal Cord Injury Medicine. He has won several teaching and research awards including one from the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) and he has presented his research work to the National Neurotrauma Society, the American Society for Neurorehabilitation, the Society for Neuroscience and at several international scientific meetings. Dr. Tansey also served as a Research Consortium Associate for the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation.
Dr. Tansey is interested in neural plasticity and repair (re-training of remaining neural connections and generation of new neural connections) that leads to functional recovery after spinal cord injury and how those processes could be improved. He is specifically interested in neural circuits for motor functions like locomotion, but also neural circuits related to pain and autonomic nervous system function. He is working to combine interventions like activity based therapies with pharmacology, electrical stimulation, and even cellular transplantation to improve neural recovery after injury.
Dr. Tansey has combined animal model and human research to gain better insight into these questions and to more rapidly translate basic science research ideas into clinical studies.