Investigators dedicated to researching Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP) and Primary Lateral Sclerosis (PLS) from around the United States have come together to create critical resources for the HSP and PLS community. The SP-CERN (Spastic Paraplegia Centers of Excellence Research Network) establishes a network of ten initial centers in North America. These centers bring together established physician-scientists and their multidisciplinary teams. SP-CERN will support the development of a registry and natural history study across all ages, a biobank for research biospecimens, and a genomic archive. These efforts will lay the groundwork for numerous opportunities to improve diagnosis and clinical trial readiness. Our objective is to harmonize this effort with similar consortia in Canada, Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa, to accelerate basic and clinical research on HSP and PLS globally. SP-CERN will provide critical research infrastructure for collaborative, high-quality research on HSP and PLS in North America and beyond.

The Spastic Paraplegia – Centers for Excellence Research Network (SP-CERN) is the first Spastic Paraplegia Research Consortium in the United States

The goal of the SP-CERN is to create clinical trial readiness, support therapy development, and increase access to high-quality healthcare for individuals with hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) and primary lateral sclerosis (PLS). Physician-scientists and their multi-disciplinary teams from ten different research centers across the United States will collaborate to develop a framework for translational research for HSP that will ultimately improve the lives of children and adults affected by HSP and PLS.


The first round of the SP-CERN includes ten centers:

    1. Boston Children’s Hospital & Harvard Medical School 
    2. Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School
    3. University of Miami – Miller School of Medicine
    4. University of Michigan Medical School
    5. Columbia University – Irving Medical Center
    6. Scottish Rite for Children & University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
    7. Texas Children’s Hospital & Baylor College of Medicine 
    8. University of Washington School of Medicine
    9. University of Iowa – Carver College of Medicine
    10. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital