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The Karimi

Neural Regeneration and Stem Cell Research Program

A Laboratory with Focus on
Multiple Sclerosis and Spinal Cord Injury



Soheila Karimi, PhD

Associate Professor, Dept. of Physiology and Pathophysiology
Senior Scientist, Regenerative Medicine Program
Principal Investigator, Spinal Cord Research Center
Scientist, Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba                                              
College of Medicine
Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Manitoba


Follow us on Twitter at @KarimiLab

Note to prospective graduate students and postdoctoral trainees:
Karimi's laboratory offers training program in neurosciences and stem cell research.
Please refer to our Research Program and Positions Available pages for further information.

  Dr. Karimi's Current Appointments:

       Associate Professor (Dept. of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Regenerative Medicine Program), University of Manitoba

.     Member: Scientific Advisory Committee of the International Neurotrauma Society (INTS)

       Member: Executive Committee of International Women in Multiple Sclerosis (iWiMS)

       Member: Board of Directors for the Canadian Association for Neuroscience

       Associate Editor: Frontiers in Neurology (Neurotrauma Section)

       Associate Editor: BMC Neuroscience

   Dr. Karimi's Past Appointments and Training:


       Assistant Professor (Dept. of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Regenerative Medicine Program), University of Manitoba, 2010-2016

       Adjunct Assistant Professor (Dept. of Surgery, Division of Anatomy), University of Toronto, 2007-2009

       Staff Neuroscientist, Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network, 2006-2009

       Postdoctoral Fellow (Spinal Cord Injury and Stem Cell Therapy), Toronto Western Research Institute, University of Toronto, Canada, 2001-2006

       PhD (Neuroscience/Dept. of Anatomy and Cell Biology), University of Saskatchewan, Canada, 1997-2001

       MSc (Human Histology, Dept. of Human Anatomy), Tehran University of Medical Sciences, 1990-1992

       BSc (Biological Sciences, Zoology, Dept. of Biology), Shiraz University, 1985-1989

Areas of research interests:

  • Neural repair and regeneration
  • Spinal cord injury and Multiple sclerosis
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Neural stem cell biology and mechanisms
  • Oligodendrocytes differentiation and myelin repair
  • Preclinical stem cell and pharmacological therapies in spinal cord injury
  • Transgenic models for studying neural stem cells in spinal cord injury and MS
  • Reactive astrogliosis and matrix remodeling
  • Neuroinflammation and immune modulation
  • Mechanisms of spinal cord gliogenesis
  • Improving neural plasticity and neurological recovery
  • Neuroanatomical and imaging techniques
  • Genetic approaches in neural systems
  • Bioengineered drug delivery systems for CNS therapeutics

Dr. Karimi's Academic Background:

Dr. Karimi received her PhD degree in Neuroscience from the University of Saskatchewan in 2001. She then undertook a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Spinal Cord Injury and Stem Cell Research at the Toronto Western Research Institute. During her graduate and postdoctoral training, Dr. Karimi received a number of research awards including postdoctoral fellowships from the CIHR, the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation and the Heart and Stroke Foundation. In 2006, she was the recipient of the prestigious Synthes Award from The American Association of Neurological Surgeons in USA for her work on spinal cord injury and neural stem cell therapy.
In 2007, Dr. Karimi joined the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto as an adjunct Assistant Professor until 2009 when she moved to the University of Manitoba.

Dr. Karimi has had a long term interest in spinal cord repair and regeneration with a special focus on development of pharmacological and stem cell therapies for the treatment of spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis. Her laboratory is physically located within the art Regenerative Medicine Program at the University of Manitoba. Karimi's program is affiliated with the Neuroscience and Spinal Cord Injury Division of the Department of Physiology in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. Dr. Karimi's research has been consistently funded by national (CIHR, MS Society, NSERC, CFI), international (Craig Neilsen Fnd, Wings for Life and Christopher and Dana Reeve Fnd) and Provincial and Institutional grants (Research Manitoba, Canadian Paraplegic Association, CHRIM, HSC Fnd, MMSF, URGP, Thorlakson Fnd).
In addition to her research, Dr. Karimi has been actively involved in national and international collaborations and leadership programs to serve the neuroscience community. Examples of these activities, she is an active member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association of Neuroscience and serves in the Executive Committee of the International Women in Multiple Sclerosis (iWiMS) in addition to working with the MSSOC and the endMS SPRINT program.