Story by John Gagnon
Ryan Gilbert has what looks like a dog tag hanging on the wall of his office. Affixed to a small chain is an ornament the size of a half dollar. It bears a Superman logo and the words, “Go forward.” The back side reads, “Christopher Reeve Foundation” — a research initiative established to address the paralysis that proved to be a real, super man’s krypton.
Gilbert, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering, is inspired by the message as he strives to repair spinal cord injuries and allow paralyzed people to use their limbs again. Gilbert immerses himself in tissue engineering to help regenerate nerves after injury to the spinal cord.