The field of Rehabilitation Science encompasses basic and applied aspects of the health sciences, social science and engineering as they relate to restoring human functional capacity and improving a person's interactions with the surrounding environment.

Established in 2001, the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences at UTMB developed an infrastructure to support research related to rehabilitation, disability and recovery. Programs include a respected PhD program, career training and development, funding opportunities for PhD students and postdoctoral fellows, and infrastructure for large data research and data sharing.

Facts & Figures

There are 9 students currently enrolled in the Rehabilitation Sciences PhD program and 5 fellows completing postdoctoral training. To date, 31 PhD degrees have been conferred and 37 fellows have completed postdoctoral training. Students and Postdoctoral Trainees have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of research activities in Rehabilitation Sciences through our programs.


Sex & Gender Differences In Women's Brain Injury Monique Pappadis, PhD, Assistant Professor in Rehab Sciences participated in the Pink Concussions International Summit on April 2, 2017. She gave two presentations, “Differences in Minority Women and Brain Injury” and “Sexual Functioning, Desire, and Satisfaction in Women with TBI and Healthy Controls”.

Ann Deutsch, RN, PhD, CRRN

Rehab Sciences  03/31/17

The Center for Large Data Research and Data Sharing in Rehabilitation and the Center for Recovery, Physical Activity and Nutrition welcomed Anne Deutsch, RN, PhD, CRRN, Senior Research Public Health Analyst at RTI International for a presentation entitled, "Measuring Quality: Principles and Methods" on March 31, 2017.

Brian Downer, PhD

Rehab Sciences  03/24/17

Brian Downer, PhD, Assistant Professor in Rehab Sciences received the Best Poster Award at the 2017 National Pepper Older American Independence Center Meeting for his work titled, "Cohort Differences in Pre-Frailty and Frailty for Mexican Americans Aged 77 and Older". Co-Authors were Rafael Samper-Ternent, Bret Howrey, Soham Al Snih, Kyriakos Markides, and Ken Ottenbacher.

photo of Scot Kimball, PhD

Rehab Sciences  03/21/17

Scot Kimball, PhD, Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology in the College of Medicine at Penn State will present, "Role of the mTORC1 Repressor REDD1 in Modulating Skeletal Muscle Atrophy and Hypertrophy" in the next CeRPAN lecture on March 21, 2017 at 2pm in Marie Hall.

photo of Dr. Middleton and Dr. Downer

Rehab Sciences  03/10/17

Rehab Sciences faculty member Brian Downer, PhD has been selected to attend the Claude D Pepper Older Americans Independence Centers Annual Meeting in Washington DC on March 23-24, 2017. In addition, Addie Middleton, PhD, PT, received a junior faculty scholarship to attend. Other attendees from Rehab Sciences include Dr. Pappadis and Dr. Ottenbacher.

Jacques Baillargeon, PhD

Men's Fitness Magazine  03/03/17

Testosterone is important to male health but most normal, healthy 30 to 40 year old men don't need testosterone-replacement therapy. "If you go in and say, 'Well, you know, in the past 10 years I've gotten more tired, I'm having trouble keeping weight off...' that's simply not enough-it's a natural phenomenon!" UTMB's Jacques Baillargeon told Men's Fitness magazine.

Addie MIddleton, PhD, PT

Rehab Sciences  03/02/17

Rehab Sciences faculty member Addie Middleton, PhD, PT, presented, "Improving Care for Older Adults" in the PMCH Seminar Series on March 2, 2017.

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Rehab Sciences  01/31/17 - 02/28/17

The Lefeber Winter Series on Aging, now in its 22nd year, features nationally recognized gerontology research educators, basic scientists, clinicians and social scientists in a five-week series hosted at UTMB.

Videos now available! More about the Lefeber Winter Series on Aging.

photo of  Gerben Dejong, PhD, FACRM

Rehab Sciences  02/23/17

The Center for Large Data Research and Data Sharing in Rehabilitation (CLDR) co-sponsored the UTMB Health Policy Dialogue on Feb 23, 2017, The IMPACT Act and Value -Based Health Care, presented by Gerben Dejong , PhD, FACRM.

More Information: Watch Video | Photos | PDF Flyer

Elena Volpi, MD, PhD

LA Times  02/23/17

A small amount of muscle loss is nearly inevitable with age. While the rate varies quite a bit, studies suggest the average person loses about 1% of muscle every year after about age 50, says Dr. Elena Volpi, director of the Sealy Center on Aging and program faculty in Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

Read article and watch video at the LA Times.

Jarvis Jessica, BM (1/2014)

Rehab Sciences  02/22/17

Jessica Jarvis successfully defended her dissertation, "Influences of cohort differences and positive emotion on the relationship between cognition and disability in activities of daily living among older Mexican Americans" for the degree Doctor of Philosophy in the Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Program on February 22, 2017.

Recently, Jessica Jarvis was awarded the Jeane B. Kempner Scholar award for 2016-2017 based on her application entitled, "Examining Variables that Effect Incident Disability in Older Mexican Americans."

Ken Ottenbacher, PhD, OTR

Rehab Sciences  02/14/17

Dr. Ottenbacher has been selected as one of the 100 most influential people in occupational therapy's first 100 years, by the American Occupational Therapy Association as a part of their centennial celebration.

"Kenneth J. Ottenbacher, PhD, OTR, has significantly advanced the science of occupational therapy. His research focus is rehabilitation outcomes, with an emphasis on the assessment of change in functional status, disability, frailty, and minority health in older adults." Read more about Dr. Ottenbacher at the OT Centennial website or visit Dr. Ottenbacher's web profile at UTMB.

Doug Paddon-Jones, PhD

6 'Facts' About Protein You Should Stop Believing

 Women's Health Magazine  02/13/17

The average American eats twice the daily amount of recommended protein, UTMB's Douglas Paddon-Jones tells Women's Health Magazine. If you are eating an omnivorous diet then "protein inadequacy is really not an issue," Paddon-Jones said.

Here's How You Can Slay Your Workout Hunger

 Men's Health  02/07/17

UTMB's Doug Paddon-Jones is quoted in this article on what to eat after working out. "Twenty-five to 35 grams of high-quality protein per meal seems to maximize the building and repairing of muscle," says Paddon-Jones.

Monique Pappadis, PhD

Rehab Sciences  02/01/17

The UTMB Pepper Center sponsored a lecture, "Perception of Decreased Mood and Cognitive Function Among Community-dwelling Adults Aging with Stroke" on February 1, 2017 presented by Monique Pappadis, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences.

Typographical graphic with text: Rehabilitation, Research, Career, Development, Science, Data, Disability, Postdoc, PhD, Physical Recovery


  • MoTrPAC-UTACC Preview Day - May 15, 2017
  • Measuring Quality: Principles and Methods - March 31, 2017
  • Role of the mTORC1 Repressor REDD1 in Modulating Skeletal Muscle Atrophy and Hypertrophy - March 21, 2017
photo: NW corner of UTMB SHP/SON

Contact the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences
 (409) 747-1637

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