The University of Alabama at Birmingham Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Model System (UAB-SCIMS) program aims to provide comprehensive clinical care to persons with SCI from the point of injury through initial rehabilitation and across the lifespan, improve our understanding of factors impacting health and wellness outcomes for these individuals and their families, and increase knowledge and awareness of persons with SCI and the professionals who care for them about factors that impact their health and wellness. Our first goal is to investigate the role of bacteria in the gut (microbiome) of persons with SCI longitudinally from acute injury across the first-year post-injury. The objective is to determine if those changes in microbiome impact bowel dysfunction and other complications of SCI. A second goal is to execute a collaborative research project that aims to understand diet patterns in persons with SCI in the community. Objectives include understanding their awareness of the components of healthy eating, barriers and facilitators of healthy eating, and other factors that may help explain those dietary habits. A third goal is to complete a variety of dissemination projects focused on our research findings as well as those from other centers with whom we are collaborating. The outcomes of our research program in this cycle should lead to a better understanding of diet and factors affecting diet in persons with SCI, how those might be improved, and how those improvements and others might impact the gut microbiome and ultimately bowel control, a major source of complications that can severely negatively impact quality of life. Additional longer term outcomes would include follow-up intervention research targeting both diet and the microbiome to improve health and well-being.