Max Rady College of Medicine
Physiology and Pathophysiology
Room 406 – Basic Medical Sciences Building
745 Bannatyne Avenue
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 0J9
Dr. Jeremy Chopek’s research seeks to determine the mechanisms through which the central nervous system produces movement. This is achieved by investigating the interaction and communication between neural circuits involved with movement initiation (i.e. brainstem) and movement execution (i.e. spinal cord). His research also focuses on the interaction and influence that neuromodulators (i.e. serotonin) and afferent input has on movement circuits. Ultimately, understanding the neural mechanisms for movement will aide in developing therapeutic approaches to restore motor function after injury.
Dr. Chopek obtained his PhD in physiology within the neuroscience division from UM. His worked focused on understanding differences in spinal reflex pathways that are perturbed following spinal cord injury and how exercise and neuromodulatory drugs could attenuate these changes. Dr. Chopek gained experience in in-vivo electrophysiology, spinal cord injury models, laser-capture microdissection, RT-qPCR and immunohistochemistry.
Dr. Chopek then pursued a four-year postdoctorate fellowship with Drs. Zhang and Brownstone at Dalhousie University and later at University College London, UK. There, Dr. Chopek developed expertise in neural connectivity using optical methods for stimulation combined with in-vitro electrophysiology and fluorescent tract tracing techniques in genetic mouse models.
These genetic models allow for the visualization and manipulation of classes of neurons that are involved in movement. This work demonstrated a wide diversity of subpopulations of neurons involved in movement and the complexity of micro-circuit formation within these subpopulations of neurons.
Dr. Chopek is now an assistant professor in the UM’s physiology and pathophysiology department, and a core member of the Spinal Cord Research Centre.
His research is focused on further understanding microcircuit formation and how these circuits initiate and execute movement in normal conditions and how these circuits can be targeted and manipulated for therapeutic or rehabilitative interventions after spinal cord injury.