Our history

Spinal Research has helped make scientific and medical history since 1980. It is determined to continue to do so.

In 1980 it took an act of faith to believe that spinal cord injury could ever be repaired. Yet fundraisers, supporters and scientists never let doubt get in the way of their work. Now, scientific achievements have built a rational foundation for everyone’s hopes. Research has opened a number of routes that, as they converge, are leading the way to the reversal of paralysis in human beings.

Spinal Research was founded in 1980 by Stewart Yesner (pictured right), a young lawyer who had been paralysed in a car accident in Zambia in 1974. He now lives in Australia, but remains a Patron of the Trust.

The charity was originally named the International Spinal Research Trust, but has been known as Spinal Research since the mid-1990s.

Fundraising activities were launched in 1981, and since then, more than £28 million has been raised to fund pioneering research into spinal cord repair.

The charity held its first scientific conference in 1983, bringing together scientists from Britain and around the world. Spinal Research’s scientific network now includes many of the world’s leading figures and institutions in the field of neuroscience.

The charity now aims to launch clinical trials in the coming years. To put this pioneering initiative in place, Spinal Research needs to raise at least £5 million a year between 2013 and 2015.

Find out how you can help us with this target.