Fighting to Repair the Body
When Evan Nichols ’19 was 4 years old, his brother, Ben, suffered a brachial plexus injury at birth, which severed the connection between sensory and motor neurons and the spine. Nichols’ parents explained that because the neurons were no longer attached to the spinal cord, Ben would likely have limited use of his left arm. “But why can’t they just go back in?” an innocent Evan asked, not knowing the question would someday spur innovative research.
During his sophomore year at Notre Dame, Nichols joined the lab of Cody Smith, the Elizabeth and Michael Gallagher Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences and a member of the Center for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine. Smith is an expert in neural development and regeneration whose lab is largely focused on building a blueprint of a healthy nervous system.Read the story