ICORD represents a new interdisciplinary research center for developing effective strategies to promote functional recovery after SCI, a reality only made possible through a founding partnership of the Rick Hansen Institute, the University of British Columbia (UBC), and the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.
Although CORD was in many ways a success, its researchers' enthusiasm for collaboration was pragmatically thwarted by a lack of proximity, a problem amplified with the broadened membership base of the new ICORD initiative, which now includes SCI researchers from UBC, Vancouver General Hospital, GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, Simon Fraser University, the Neil Squire Foundation, and the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
Currently, ICORD researchers are spread across the Greater Vancouver Regional District in 20 different locations.
Although the building will not be completed until late 2004, ICORD is not waiting to initiate its research programs.
Steeves, now ICORD director, is the inaugural recipient of the provincial government's BC leadership chair.
ICORD will focus its research efforts around six integrated themes that aim to minimize SCI's effects to prevent paralysis, maximize recovery and quality of life for people with SCI, and promote spinal-cord regeneration to restore full physical function.