Karim Fouad, PhD

Professor, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine - Physical Therapy


Professor, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine - Physical Therapy
(780) 492-5971
387 Corbett (E.A.) Hall
8205 - 114 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2G4



Scientific Career:

2018-present: Co-Director, Open Data Commons for Spinal Cord Injury

2016-2023: Canada Research Chair for Spinal Cord Injury (Tier1)

2015-2017: Co-Director, Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute

2008-present: Full Professor

2007-2014: Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, Senior Scholar 

2007-2008: Associate Professor, Alberta Heritage Foundation Senior Scholar 

2005-2007: Associate Professor, Alberta Heritage Foundation Scholar 

2001-2005: Assistant Professor, Alberta Heritage Foundation Scholar 

                    Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada 

1997-2001: Research Associate, Brain Research Institute, University and ETH Zürich, 

1995-1997: Post-Doctoral Researcher, University of Alberta

1995: Post-Doctoral Researcher, Faculty of Life Sciences, Ben-Gurion University, Israel 

1991-1995: Ph.D. (Neuroscience), University of Konstanz, Germany 

1986-1991: Diploma (Biology), University of Konstanz, Germany 


2017-2022: Grant from the Canadian Institute for Health Research

2017-2018: Alberta Spinal Cord Injury Research Support Fund 

2016-2019: Grant from the Heart and Stroke Foundation with Ian Winship as Co Applicant

2016-2021: Co-PI on Grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH)

2015-2016: Grant from Conquer Paralysis Now

2015-2017: Grant from Wings for Life (Austria)

2014: Equipment grant from the Alberta Paraplegic Foundation

2013-2018: Co-PI on grant from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research 

2012-2015: Grant from the International Spinal Research Trust (UK)

2012-2017: Two grants from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research 

2012: Equipment grant from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation


Dr. Fouad's research focuses on the promotion of functional recovery after spinal cord injuries by increasing the regenerative and plastic capabilities of the central nervous system.


Karim Fouad, PhD, is a graduate supervisor at the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine.


PTHER 567 - Neuroscience for Rehabilitation

Structures and functions of the human nervous system. Emphasis is on the effects of injury, diseases and rehabilitation training on the nervous system. Prerequisites: PTHER 516.

Browse more courses taught by Karim Fouad

Scholarly Activities

Research - Research Lab

The overall goal of our research is to promote functional recovery following spinal cord injury.

Functional recovery following injuries of the central nervous system (CNS) is limited because severed axons are unable to regrow. This inability to regenerate is caused by various factors including growth inhibitory factors in the central nervous system and intracellular properties of injured neurons. Nevertheless, moderate recovery following brain or spinal cord injuries occurs. The underlying mechanisms for this recovery lies in the ability of spared and injured CNS circuitries to rearrange, generally termed as plasticity. To promote functional recovery following spinal cord injury we are currently focusing on the following two main strategies: 

  1. Trying to understand injury induced plasticity and attempting to enhance this naturally occurring repair mechanism. 
  2. Promoting regeneration of lesioned axons by addressing various regeneration restricting factors in combined treatments.


The methods used in our laboratory range from various experimental approaches to promote plasticity and regeneration, to histological examinations, behavioral tests (sensory and motor), high speed kinematic and in vivo electrophysiological assessments.


Our facilities include a tissue culture area, a histology lab, a darkroom for fluorescence microscopy and a laboratory fully equipped for surgeries and physiological experiments.

Featured Publications

Schmidt EKA, Torres-Espín A, Raposo P, Madsen KL, Kigerl KA, Popovich PG, Fenrich KK, Fouad K

2020 January;

Lucas-Osma AM, Li Y, Murray KC, Lin S, Black S, Stephens MJ, Ahn AH, Heckman CJ, Fenrich KK, Fouad K, Bennett DJ

2019 January;

Batty NJ, Torres-Espin A, Vavrek R, Raposo P, Fouad K

2019 January;

5. Reardon AJF, Karathra J, Ribbenstedt A, Benskin JP, MacDonald AM, Kinniburgh DW, Hamilton TJ, Fouad K, Martin JW

2019 January;

Fouad K, Bixby JL, Callahan A, Grethe JS, Jakeman LB, Lemmon VP, Magnuson DSK, Martone ME, Nielson JL, Schwab JM, Taylor-Burds C, Tetzlaff W, Torres-Espin A, Ferguson AR and the FAIR-SCI Ahead Workshop Participants.

2019 January;

Lin S, Li Y, Lucas-Osma AM, Hari K, Stephens MJ, Singla R, C J H, Zhang Y, Fouad K, Fenrich KK, Bennett DJ

2018 January;

Torres-Espin A, Forero J, Fenrich KK, Lucas-Osma AM, Krajacic A, Schmidt E, Vavrek R, Raposo P, Bennett DJ, Popovich PG, Fouad K

2018 January;

Lucas-Osma AM, Li Y, Lin S, Black S, Singla R, Fouad K, Fenrich KK, Bennett DJ

2018 January;

Batty NJ, Fenrich KK, Fouad K.

2017 January;

Fenrich KK, May Z, Torres-Espín A, Forero J, Bennett DJ, Fouad K.

2017 January;

Li Y, Lucas-Osma AM, Black S, Bandet MV, Stephens MJ, Vavrek R, Sanelli L, Fenrich KK, Di Narzo AF, Dracheva S, Winship IR, Fouad K, Bennett DJ.

2017 January;

Wei D, Hurd C, Galleguillos D, Singh J, Fenrich KK, Webber CA, Sipione S, Fouad K.

2017 January;

May Z, Fenrich KK, Dahlby J, Batty NJ, Torres-Espín A, Fouad K.

2017 January;

Wiersma AM, Fouad K, Winship IR.

2017 January;

Alpaugh M, Galleguillos D, Forero J, Morales LC, Lackey SW, Kar P, Di Pardo A, Holt A, Kerr BJ, Todd KG, Baker GB, Fouad K, Sipione S.

2017 January;

Callahan A, Anderson KD, Beattie MS, Bixby JL, Ferguson AR, Fouad K, Jakeman LB, Nielson JL, Popovich PG, Schwab JM, Lemmon VP; FAIR Share Workshop Participants.

2017 January;

Goganau I, Sandner B, Weidner N, Fouad K, Blesch A.

2017 January;

May Z, Torres-Espín A, Lucas-Osma AM, Batty NJ, Raposo P, Fenrich KK, Stykel MG, Führmann T, Shoichet M, Biernaskie J, Fouad K.

2017 January;

Jack AS, Hurd C, Forero J, Nataraj A, Fenrich K, Blesch A, Fouad K.

2017 January;

May Z, Kumar R, Führmann T, Tam R, Vulic K, Forero J, Lucas-Osma AM, Fenrich K, Assinck P, Lee MJ, Moulson A, Shoichet MS, Tetzlaff W, Biernaskie J, Fouad K.

2017 January;

Torres-Espín A, Forero J, Schmidt EKA, Fouad K, Fenrich KK.

2017 January;

Fenrich KK, May Z, Hurd C, Boychuk CE, Kowalczewski J, Bennett DJ, Whishaw IQ, Fouad K

2015 January;

Helmbrecht MS, Soellner H, Truckenbrodt AM, Sundermeier J, Cohrs C, Hans W, de Angelis MH, Feuchtinger A, Aichler M, Fouad K, Huber AB

2015 January;

May Z, Fouad K, Shum-Siu A, Magnuson DS

2015 January;

Helmbrecht MS, Soellner H, Castiblanco-Urbina MA, Winzeck S, Sundermeier J, Theis FJ, Fouad K, Huber AB

2015 January;

Fouad K, Hurd C

2014 January;

Weishaupt N, Vavrek R, Fouad K

2013 January;

Weishaupt N, Hurd C, Wei DZ, Fouad K

2013 January;

Hurd C, Weishaupt N, Fouad K.

2013 January;