Dr. Vernon graduated from Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 1977. He completed his Fellowship in Clinical Science in 1980 and received his Ph.D. from the University of Glamorgan, Wales, UK, in 2003. His thesis covered the manual therapy of headaches of spinal origin.
Dr. Vernon has been a faculty member at CMCC since 1977. He is currently a Full Professor in the Division of Research.
Dr. Vernon published the first outcome measure for assessing disability due to neck pain – the Neck Disability Index, in 1991. As of 2012, there are over 900 articles internationally that have cited the NDI. Numerous clinical guideline organizations, especially for whiplash management, have endorsed the NDI as the questionnaire of choice for neck pain patients.
Dr. Vernon has collaborated with world-renowned pain researchers since 1988, conducting basic science research into the mechanisms of cervical and lumbar spinal pain.
Dr. Vernon is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, 15 book chapters and numerous abstracts. He is the Editor of two text books on the upper cervical spine (1988 & 2003).
Dr. Vernon received the FCER Researcher of the Year Award, 1993 and the Canadian Chiropractic Association Researcher of the Year Award, 1995. He was Chair, Consortium of Canadian Chiropractic Research Centres 1997 – 2004.
His primary area of research is on the cervical spine, especially the relationship between the upper cervical spine and headache. He is currently the Principal Investigator of an NIH-funded project to validate a sham cervical spinal manipulation for use in clinical trials and a co-investigator on a study of the development of an animal model of lumbar facet joint injury, pain and arthritis.