Research themes 

  • Regenerative medicine
  • Translational neuroscience
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spinal cord injury

Research interests 

  • Neural repair and regeneration
  • Stem cell therapies
  • Pharmacological therapies
  • Neural stem cell biology 
  • Neuroinflammation and immune modulation
  • Glia neurobiology
  • Myelin biology
  • Mechanisms of neurodegeneration
  • Transgenic and genetic approaches in neural systems
  • Preclinical models 

Research affiliations

  • Scientist, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM)

Research groups

  • Manitoba Neuroscience Network (MNN)
  • Spinal Cord Research Center (SCRC)
  • Excellence in Neurodevelopment And Rehabilitation Research In Child Health (ENRRICH)
  • International Neurotrauma Society (INTS)
  • International Women in Multiple Sclerosis (iWiMS)

Research summary

Dr. Soheila Karimi's program offers training opportunities in neurosciences and regenerative medicine.

The program is internationally recognized for its contribution to the development of translationally oriented stem cell and pharmacological therapies for spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis (MS).

Using advanced technologies and preclinical and transgenic models, current projects in the Karimi lab have focused on neural stem cell biology and therapeutics, neural differentiation and plasticity, myelin biology and repair, neuroinflammation and immune modulation, glial biology, pharmacological and bioengineered drug delivery systems for regeneration and neurological recovery in spinal cord injury and MS.


Dr. Soheila Karimi received her PhD in neurosciences from the University of Saskatchewan in 2001, followed by a postdoctoral training at the Toronto Western Research Institute and University of Toronto, where she received fellowships from the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

In 2006, she was the recipient of the Synthes Award from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons for her work on neural stem cell therapy in spinal cord injury.

In 2007, Dr. Karimi joined the surgery department at the University of Toronto as an adjunct assistant professor until 2010 when she moved to UM.

Dr. Karimi’s research focuses on development of regenerative medicine therapies for spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis.

Her program has been supported continuously and concurrently by national and international funding from the CIHR, the MS Society of Canada, NSERC, Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the Canadian Paraplegic Association and several U.S. and European foundations.

Dr. Karimi has been also actively involved in national and international leadership programs. She currently serves in the board of directors of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience (CAN), the Executive Committee of the International Women in Multiple Sclerosis (iWiMS) and the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Neurotrauma Society (INTS), in addition to several other peer-review committees and editorial boards.

Dr. Karimi has participated in national and international mentorship programs including the endMS Scholar Program for Researchers In Training (SPRINT), iWiMS mentorship program and MITACS Global Internship program.

She is involved in outreach, fundraising and public events in Manitoba and Canada.

Dr. Karimi's contributions and leadership in science has been recognized as she was named one of the Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women in 2020.


  • Postdoctoral fellowship, University Health Network and University of Toronto (2007)
  • PhD (neuroscience), University of Saskatchewan (2001)
  • Master of anatomical sciences, University of Tehran (1991)
  • Bachelor of zoology, University of Shiraz (1989)


  • Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women of 2020, Women’s Executive Network (2020)
  • Manulife Award in Science and Technology, Women’s Executive Network (2020)
  • Merit Award for Research, Teaching and Service, University of Manitoba (2018)
  • Ed Kroeger Award for Distinction in Mentorship of Graduate Students, Health Sciences Graduate Students Association, University of Manitoba (2017)
  • New Investigator Award, AOSpine North America (2007, 2008)
  • Synthes Research Award, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, USA (2006)
  • Basic Science Research Award, Cervical Spine Research Society, USA (2005)
  • Postdoctoral fellowship, Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation, (2004-2006)
  • Postdoctoral fellowship, Heart and Stroke Foundation (declined) 
  • Postdoctoral fellowship, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR, 2002-2004)
  • Young Investigator Travel Award, International Neurotrauma Society (INTS) (2005)
  • Young Investigator Travel Award, 7th International Neurotrauma Symposium (INTS) (2004) 
  • PhD Studentship, University of Saskatchewan (1998-2001)

Contact us

Physiology and Pathophysiology
432 Basic Medical Sciences Building
745 Bannatyne Avenue
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0J9 Canada