Volker Dietz, MD, is the former Head of the Spinal Cord Injury Centre and of the Chair for Paraplegiology at the University of Zürich. Dr. Dietz received his medical degree from the University of Tübingen (D). He served his residency in neurology with clinical specialization in electrophysiology and research in movement dosorders in the Department of Neurology and Neurophysiology of the University of Freiburg. After his fellowships in the National Institute for Neurology, Queen Square, London and in the Institute of the Problems of Information Transmission of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Moskow, Dr. Dietz was appointed as Professor for Neurology at the University of Zurich. His research focused on on neurophysiological basis of human motor control and of movement disorders in stroke and spinal cord injury. His main achievements were: 1. to create the European network of paraplegic centers (EMSCI; together with Armin Curt and Martin Schwab); 2. the translation of Nogo-antibodies in the clinical application (phase I, together with Martin Schwab and the Novartis company); and, 3. the establishment of neurorehabilitation technology (development of the assistive device ‘Lokomat’ together with Gery Colombo; spin-off company ‘Hocoma’). Dr. Dietz published more than three hundred original papers, edited 4 Handbooks, received highly recognized honors and awards, and is an active member of many renowned international scientific and medical societies and foundations. As emeritus Professor he continues his research at the Spinal Cord Injury Center of the University Hospital Balgrist in Zürich.
His research is focussed towards the neural basis of functional movements with the aim to develop of new training approaches, such as locomotor and functional hand training, for patients with stroke.