Travel Grants

Justin Jesudas

The work of Justin Jesudas’ group revolves around the effectiveness of rehabilitation programs in India and neighbouring countries and the need to move away from programs that merely help SCIs manage their injuries to embracing programs that support living well with spinal cord injuries.

This research team includes a person with lived experience with spinal cord injury, an occupational therapist and a physiatrist on a mission to pursue meaningful user-centric research for people with spinal cord injury in India. Their initial research is around the effectiveness of rehabilitation programs in India, where the majority of them do not help in community participation. There are no national standards for rehabilitation relating to spinal cord injury and hardly any literature about community participation in the Indian and other low/mid income countries context. As researchers from diverse groups, they want to research on the pre- and post- injury settings to understand the drivers and barriers and design a program that actually enables community participation – a program that helps to live well with spinal cord injury than merely managing the injury.

Justin and his team received a 2021 SCI Collaboration Grant to attend ISCoS 2021:Virtual. The team comprises:

  • Justin Vijay Jesudas, CEO, The Spinal Foundation, India
  • Stuti Chakraborty, Occupational Therapist, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India
  • Dr Sureshkumar Kamalakannan, Associate Professor, The Indian Institute of Public Health, Hyderabad, India
  • Dr Anand Viswanathan, Rehabilitation physician and researcher, Princess Royal Spine Injuries Centre, Sheffield, United Kingdom

L-R: Justin Jesudas, Stuti Chakraborty, Sureshkumar Kamalakannan, Anand Viswanathan

The research group share their experiences from the conference.

“Participating at the ISCoS conference helped our group understand the different scientific research across the globe around spinal cord injury and some sessions were very educational and informative. It also provided a networking platform to reach out to fellow researchers working in relevant areas paving the way to potential future collaborations. The ISCoS conference experience has helped us delve deeper into our research which aspires to put users in the middle of rehabilitation programs and the effectiveness of such programs to make users pursue community roles, as much as possible, similar to pre-injury times.

The biggest highlight for our group was to present our research, which was user-group initiated, giving voice to the user community and their lived experiences.”

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