Skip Navigation

 Medical University | MUSC Hospital Directory | A-Z Index


South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund


Board of Directors



Heather Walker headshot
Heather W. Walker, MD

Mount Pleasant, SC

Dr. Heather Walker is the Program Director of Neuroscience Services at the HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Charleston, SC.  Additionally, she serves as voluntary faculty in the Division of Neurosurgery at the Medical University of South and is the medical student clerkship director for the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation elective rotation.  She was previously a member of the PM&R faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 2007-2014, and during her appointment at UNC she served as the Medical Director of the Spinal Cord Injury Program as well as the PM&R Residency Program Director.  She is board certified in the specialty of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, as well as the subspecilaties Spinal Cord Injury Medicine and Brain Injury Medicine.  She was named to the “Best Doctors in America” list in 2013-2016.  She has been involved in research and publications focusing on spasticity management, and enjoys incorporating spasticity management into her outpatient clinic practice.

Stephen Rawe Head Shot
Stephen E. Rawe, MD

Charleston, SC

Dr. Stephen Rawe graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and completed his residency at Yale – New Haven Medical Center, and earned a PhD in neuroanatomy from MUSC, where he served as an associate professor.  Dr. Rawe is board certified in neurosurgery and was the first neurosurgeon in the Charleston area to perform pedicle screw instrumentation, kyphoplasty and artificial cervical disc surgery. He continues to be involved in innovative spinal fusion techniques and has extensive experience with the interspinous process distraction for spinal stenosis. Dr. Rawe is a founding member of the South Carolina Spine Society and served as its first president.

Kevin Kopera Head Shot
Kevin Kopera, MD - CHAIR
Greenville, SC

Medical Director of Roger C Peace Rehabilitation Hospital of the Greenville Health System, overseeing a CARF accredited Spinal Cord Injury Program. He is Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation completing his residency training at University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Kopera earned a Masters Degree in Public Health at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He serves as Medical Director for Employee Health and Wellness for the Greenville Health System's greater than twelve thousand employees. Additional interests include ongoing research projects in Driving Rehabilitation in collaboration with Clemson University. Dr. Kopera is the Ombudsman for University of South Carolina Greenville School of Medicine and is an International Medical Classifier for Paralympic Cycling.

Noreen Herring Head Shot
M. Noreen Herring, MD
Charleston, SC

Dr. Noreen herring is a specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and an Assistant Professor at the Medical University of South Carolina in the Department of Neurosciences

Jeremy Chapman Head Shot
Jeremy S. Chapman
Pelzer, SC

I believe everyone remembers their “Defining Moments” in life because of the impact it has, not only in them but in family, friends, and everything around them. May 1st 2002 was one of those defining moments in my life. I was involved in a single car accident by hydroplaning off the road and slamming into a wooded area on the roadside. After awaking in the hospital three days later I was told my life had changed forever, and they were right! Fortunately, I was taught that I had a major part to play in the “How” my life would change, and it has been for the better. Spinal Cord Injury hasn’t changed who I am, but only magnified what was already a part of me.

Abhay Varma Head Shot
Abhay K. Varma, MD, MBBS
Mt. Pleasant, SC

Dr. Varma is an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at the Medical University of South Carolina with special interest in management of brain and spine tumors, spine surgery, neurotrauma and peripheral nerve disorders.  Dr. Varma has been involved in clinical and laboratory research on spinal cord injury in close collaboration with basic neuroscientists. He is a member of North American Spine Society, a premier professional society of spine specialists."

Sherron Jackson Head Shot
Sherron M. Jackson, MD

Charleston, SC

Dr. Sherron McQueen Jackson is a native of Augusta, Georgia.  She developed an interest in medicine at an early age.  She graduated from Mercer University with a B.S. degree in Biology and Chemistry and received her M.D. degree from Medical College of Georgia in 1981.  Dr. Jackson completed her internship and residency in Pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.
For more than 25 years her professional career has focused on diagnosis and treatment of Sickle Cell disease in children and her practice has grown to include more than five hundred children in the Charleston area.  As an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Dr. Jackson participates in clinical research studies along with other medical centers around the country. Dr. Jackson’s additional roles as a physician include being the director of the Pediatric Sickle Cell Clinic and teaching medical students as the co-director of the Pediatric Clerkship at MUSC. Her professional medical memberships include American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Charleston Medical Society. She is also a member of the national honor fraternity, Alpha Omega Alpha.
Dr. Jackson’s son, Alex Jackson, sustained a C5-6 SCI at the age of 9 months in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. 

Top of Page


The Board is comprised of the following Categories:

A. Two Medical Doctors (MD) from MUSC;
B. Two MDs at large specializing or significantly engaged in the treatment of people with an SCI;
C. Two members who have an SCI or have a family member with an SCI; and,
D. One at large MD who is a member of the South Carolina Medical Association.

Category A. Two MDs from MUSC

M. Noreen Herring, MD – First term (3/8/2014-3/8/2018)
Abhay K. Varma, MD – First term (3/8/2015-3/8/2019)

Category B. Two MDs at large specializing or significantly engaged in the treatment of people with an SCI

Heather W. Walker, MD – Initial term (3/8/2013-3/8/2017)
  *recommended for First full term (3/8/2017-3/8/2021)
Kevin W. Kopera, MD, MPH – First term (3/8/2013-3/8/2017)
  *recommended for Second full term (3/8/2017-3/8/2021)

Category C. Two members who have an SCI or a family member with an SCI

Jeremy S. Chapman – First term (3/8/2014-3/8/2018)
Sherron M. Jackson, MD - First term (8/5/2015-3/8/2019)

Category D. One at large MD who is a member of the SC Medical Association

Stephen E. Rawe, MD – First term (3/8/2016-3/8/2020)

Top of Page


The Board of Directors holds in-person meetings, usually 2-3 per year, to address the organization of the SCIRF as well as directional goals.  Meeting dates, locations and select photos are included below.  The Board of Directors is responsible for approving all grants awarded as well as budgets for Administrative and Research Core functions.


March 30 - MUSC in Charleston


November 3 - Patewood in Greenville

Group Photo          
Back Row:  Abhay K. Varma, Steve Rawe, Naren Banik, Kevin W. Kopera, M. Noreen Herring
Front Row:  Jeremy Chapman, James S. Krause, Catherine Leigh Graham

Surgical Training Innovation Center     Dr. Lee's Lab - SCI Impactor     Dr. Lee's Lab - animal tracking results
Surgical Training Innovation Center                      Dr. Lee's Lab (Grant#2014 I-01)-SCI Impactor                             Dr. Lee's Lab - Animal Tracking Results

    Dr. Turgeon Presenting
Dr. Victoria Turgeon presented her work under Grant#2015 I-02.

April 21 - MUSC in Charleston (no photo available)


December 9 - MUSC in Charleston.

Group Photo of Board
Back Row:  Steve Rawe, Abhay K. Varma, Naren Banik,
M. Noreen Herring, Heather Walker, Kevin W. Kopera
Front Row:  Catherine Leigh Graham, James S. Krause, Jeremy Chapman

April 8 - Roger C. Peace in Greenville.

Board Photo
Back Row:  M. Noreen Herring, Abhay K. Varma, Steve Rawe (guest),
Kevin W. Kopera (Chair), Naren L. Banik (Associate Scientific Director)
Front Row:  Catherine Leigh Graham (Executive Director),
James S. Krause (Scientific Director)

The Second Lunch and Learn Series was held from 12-1pm.

Lewis presentation
Maddie Lewis presented her work on Grant#2015 S-01

Trilk presentation
Jennifer Trilk, PhD presented her work on Grant#2014 I-01


November 13 - 6439 Garners Ferry Road, Columbia, SC - University of South Carolina School of Medicine VA Campus, Building #3 - Dean's Board Room

First Lunch and Learn Series - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

2015 11 13 Board Picture
Catherine Leigh Graham (Executive Director), Abhay K. Varma, M. Noreen Herring,
Kevin W. Kopera (Chair), Naren L. Banik (Associate Scientific Director)
Via Phone:  James S. Krause (Scientific Director), Sherron M. Jackson, Jeremy S. Chapman


April 17 - 2095 Henry Trecklenburg Drive, Charleston, SC - Roper St. Francis Hospital, 5th Floor Neuro Spine Conference Room

Board of Directors
Back Row:  Kevin W. Kopera (Chair), M. Noreen Herring, Sherron M. Jackson,
Naren L. Banik (Associate Scientific Director), Abhay K. Varma
Front Row:  James S. Krause (Scientific Director), Catherine Leigh Graham (Executive Director)
Not Pictured:  Jeremy S. Chapman



October 17 - 701 Grove Road, Greenville, SC - Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital

SCIRF Board and Staff 
Back Row:  W. Daniel Westerkam (Chair), Abhay K. Varma, Kevin W. Kopera,
Byron N. Baily, Naren L. Banik (Associate Scientific Director)
Front Row:  Catherine Leigh Graham (Executive Director),
James S. Krause (Scientific Director), Jeremy S. Chapman
Not Pictured:  M. Noreen Herring, Sherron M. Jackson


May 2 – 2935 Colonial Drive, Columbia, SC - Healthsouth Rehabilitation

May 2, 2014 Board Of Directors
Back Row: W. Daniel Westerkam (Chair), Naren L. Banik (Associate
Scientific Director), M. Noreen Herring, and Kevin W. Kopera
Front Row: James S. Krause (Scientific Director),
Catherine Leigh Graham (Executive Director)
Not Pictured:  Byron N. Bailey

See 2010/2014 Multi-year Report for previous Board meeting details and photos

Top of Page         


South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund
Phone: (843) 614-1756
© 2014 South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund. All rights reserved.