Blusson Spinal Cord Centre

The partners within the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre in Vancouver are exploring one of the world’s major unsolved health-care challenges—spinal cord injury (SCI).

Those who sustain an SCI experience life-altering consequences as paralysis limits their movement. They must learn to adapt to a new life that restricts their independence and requires much care.

This is why the Blusson Centre exists—to improve the lives of those living with an SCI.

The Centre began as a dream of Rick Hansen. He envisioned a place where researchers would work together on groundbreaking spinal cord research and find a cure for paralysis after an SCI.

Opened in 2008, the Centre houses:

  • the International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries(ICORD)
  • the Vancouver Coastal Health Spine Program and
  • the Rick Hansen Institute.


Together these distinct but integrated groups are investigating the best ways to improve the treatment and well-being of those with an SCI.

Their teamwork is making a difference, as promising discoveries are moving more quickly into tangible solutions which may allow people to walk again.

Help advance the work of the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre by making an online donation to the Rick Hansen Foundation, which supports the Centre’s activities.

Image of Rick Hansen being shown a piece of equipment.

Rick Hansen Institute

The Rick Hansen Institute, an innovation established and funded by the Rick Hansen Foundation, is guided by the vision of a world without paralysis after a spinal cord injury (SCI).

To achieve this goal, we connect scientists and clinicians in Canada and around the world. Together, these leaders in spinal cord research are improving the treatment and care of people living with an SCI.

We support projects that will reduce long-term costs, improve quality of life, and achieve the greatest impact in:

  • Reducing the incidence and severity of permanent paralysis after an SCI
  • Increasing the restoration of physical recovery of those with an SCI
  • Decreasing the occurrence of secondary health complications related to an SCI


Thanks to expanded knowledge of how the spinal cord works, novel breakthroughs are improving the care for thousands of people living with an SCI.

With greater collaboration, we will make even more progress. In the coming years, we will:

  • Expand our global database around the world so that more information will assist researchers in making significant discoveries
  • Facilitate research studies to deepen an understanding of SCI and investigate improved treatments
  • Disseminate best practices knowledge to medical professionals that will improve the care of those living with an SCI


The impact of our work will move us closer to the day when children and adults with paralysis will be able to walk again.

Learn more about the progress the Rick Hansen Institute is making in the field of SCI research, treatment and care in Canada and around the world.

More about RHI: Summative Evaluation Report of RHI Initiatives Funded by Health Canada (PDF)

Photo of patient undergoing rehabilitation