Milani, Sadaf, PhD, MPH

Dr. Milani - Ottenbacher Junior Faculty Research Award

We are pleased to announce that the 1st recipient of the Kenneth J. Ottenbacher. PhD. OTR Junior Faculty Research Award is Assistant Professor of Geriatrics, Dr Sadaf Milani.

Her nominator, Dr. Mukaila Raji, wrote the following:

Dr Milani is a promising junior investigator with great potential for developing a successful independent research career. Her research focuses on pain and its impact on rehabilitation outcomes, optimal pain management (drug and non-drug approaches) that enhances functional recovery, cognitive aging and dementia, and central-nervous system (CNS) medication prescribing and mental health outcomes. Dr. Milani received a pilot award from the Texas Resource Center for Minority Aging Research and has an NIH K01 resubmission under review. She recently published a paper in JAMA Network Open, covered in national media, that has brought attention to the unequal mental health burden of the COVID-19 pandemic among women. Dr. Milani is highly productive and currently has 14 publications with 11 as first author, and 4 manuscripts under review. Of the 50+ doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, and early career faculty I have supervised over the past 15 years, I would rate Dr. Milani as the top early career faculty I have mentored.

The Kenneth J. Ottenbacher. PhD, OTR Jr. Faculty Research Award is funded for the benefit of junior faculty at UTMB who are conducting research related to rehabilitation, disability and recovery. Funds will be used to support the research efforts of the selected junior faculty, including but not limited to, project staff and supplies, research training activities, and conference travel to present study results. This award was created to honor Dr. Ottenbacher, by his former students, mentees colleagues and friends. Dr. Ottenbacher joined UTMB in 1995 as Vice Dean of SHP (formerly School of Allied Health Sciences) and was named Associate Director of the Sealy Center on Aging in 1998. He developed the Rehabilitation Sciences PhD curriculum in 2000 and served as program director for many years. In 2001, Dr. Ottenbacher helped establish UTMB's Center for Rehabilitation Sciences (now Center for Recovery, Physical Activity and Nutrition), where he served as Director until 2018, and the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences, where he served as Director until his retirement in 2021.