Monica Perez started her career as a physical therapist in South America, moving to the United States to conduct research at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.
The scientists and clinicians at The Miami Project take innovative approaches to understanding the intersection of science and rehabilitation in relation to spinal cord and brain injuries. Perez’s lab aims to understand physiological mechanisms that contribute to the control of movement following spinal cord injury, and to use this information to develop procedures that enhance voluntary motor output.
In this Meet the Expert, Perez outlines the steps along the path that got her where she is today, including training at the University of Copenhagen and at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. She discusses her translational science experiences and how she built a research program from a basic mechanistic question to design approaches that aim to improve clinical rehabilitation.
She also shares guiding questions that have helped her understand the relationship between anatomy and behavior and will help any neuroscientist make strategic decisions at the start of their career.