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Benson: Uniquely Focused on SCI

The Bensons: Julia, Douglas and Linda
The Bensons: Julia, Douglas and Linda

Douglas Benson always wanted to be a scientist, probably headed for a career in astrophysics. But when he was 20 he was hit by a car while on a bicycle, injuring his spinal cord. This refocused his career path toward neuroscience.

He went on to get a Ph.D. at Michigan and landed a post-doc position in the Luis Parada lab at the University of Texas Southwestern. Parada was at that time a member of the Reeve International Research Consortium on Spinal Cord Injury; Benson became an Associate within the Consortium and worked out some of the basics of his current work with axon inhibition.

He published a well-cited paper in 2005 on Ephrin B-3, a potent axon blocker. Benson now has his own lab within the Baylor College of ­Dentistry, in Dallas. "My plan," said Benson, "has been to make a scientific contribution so people like me wouldn't have to be like me." Benson is married and has a five-year-old daughter.

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Continue Christopher Reeve's LegacyPhoto by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders