Zehr, E. Paul


Phone number: (250) 721-8379
Email: pzehr@uvic.ca
Department: School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Ed

Research description:

- Neural control of human movement
- Recovery from stroke and spinal cord injuries
- Role of reflexes in coordination of limbs

Expertise Profile
We should give our arms more credit when it comes to walking, says Dr. E. Paul Zehr.

Dr. Zehr is a neuroscientist in the Division of Medical Sciences and School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education, where he studies how our arms and legs follow the commands of the brain and spinal cord during walking.

He would cement his reputation as a breakthrough scientist by discovering that our arms give our legs a helping hand when we walk.

In one study, Dr. Zehr looked at how arm and leg coordination is changed or lost after the nervous system has been damaged during stroke or a spinal cord injury. He finds that the nervous system has the capacity to change no matter what damage it has endured.

For that matter, Dr. Zehr and his graduate students at UVic applied a mostly forgotten discovery over 100 years ago where exercising the unaffected side of the body after stroke also strengthened the opposite weaker side of the body.

This surprising finding encourages people with neural injuries and mobility issues in rehabilitation to continue to exercise and eventually recover their ability to walk.

Dr. Zehr brings his passion into the classroom by using real-life stories from his research to support understanding of concepts in neuroscience and kinesiology. He also uses examples from pop culture, such as superheroes from action-based comic books, to help students explore creative ways of solving problems.

Related Links
Dr. Zehr's Faces of UVic Research video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ig3dK-MiPs

Health related research:

The applied portion of Dr. Zehr's research is focused upon translating results obtained in healthy persons to those with neurotrauma. The goal is to help recover neural function lost due to injury.


French, some German, Japanese, Italian and Spanish

UVic Speakers bureau

E. Paul Zehr takes part in the UVic Speakers Bureau.
More information about the Speakers Bureau can be found here.

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