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 8 students currently enrolled in the Rehabilitation Sciences PhD program and 2 fellows completing postdoctoral training. To date, 33 PhD degrees have been conferred and 41 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.

2018 News

Jaspreet Sodhi (8/2015)  Rehab Sciences  08/28/18

Rehabilitation Sciences doctoral student Jaspreet Sodhi has been awarded a President's Cabinet Award with Jay Truitt, MD, PhD, PharmD, RPh, a student in the MPH program at UTMB, recently received funding for their project entitled, "An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: The St. Vincent's/Luke Society Preventive Dental Health Clinic Collaborative." Mr. Truitt and Ms. Sodhi have partnered with a UTMB medical student and a faculty sponsor in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies for this project.

The group's $50,000 award will help them achieve their goal to create a new preventive dental health clinic at St. Vincent's House in Galveston in partnership with The Luke Society for indigent, uninsured, and underinsured individuals in Galveston. The new clinic, which will provide services at no cost, will help prevent new tooth/oral infections, reduce dental decay, decrease the need for antibiotic usage, and improve systemic health. The funding which will run through August 2020 will allow a triple focus to be placed on access to dental care (including oral hygiene education), antibiotic stewardship, and interprofessional training/education.

Congrats to Jay and Jaspreet!!

photo-left  Rehab Sciences  08/23/18
The Division of Rehabilitation Sciences sponsored a special guest lecture on August 23, 2018. Patricia Heyn, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Colorado, presented, "Promoting Healthspan for Persons with Complex and Chronic Health Conditions with Sustainable Wellness Approaches: From Evidence to Action."
Ioannis Malagaris, MSc (8/2014)  Rehab Sciences  08/15/18

Rehabilitation Sciences doctoral student Ioannis Malagaris, MSc has been selected as a Jeane B. Kempner Scholar for 2018-2019. His application is titled, "Protein intake in burn injury. Methodology development in stable isotope studies." Congratulations to Ioannis on this prestigious fellowship.

Efi Polychronopoulou (8/2015)  Rehab Sciences  07/19/18

Efi Polychronopoulou, a third year student in the Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Program has published her first paper as lead author, "The Long-Term Impact of Severe Burn Trauma on Musculoskeletal Health."

photo of Dr. Milbury's lecture  Rehab Sciences  07/16/18
The Division of Rehabilitation Sciences sponsored a special guest lecture on July 16, 2018. Kathrin Milbury, PhD (top-left) presented, "The Role of Mind-Body Medicine in the Rehabilitation of Cancer Patients on Active Treatment and their Family Caregivers." Dr. Ottenbacher (top-right) facilitated and introduced Dr. Milbury to the audience (bottom). Dr. Milbury is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine, Division of Cancer Medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
OttenbacherKenneth  Rehab Sciences  07/02/18

Dr. Kenneth J. Ottenbacher, PhD, OTR, Professor and Director in the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences, Associate Director, Sealy Center on Aging, has been appointed to the National Advisory Council for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute on Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in the NIH for four years.  The Council advises, consults with, and makes recommendations to the Director on matters relating to NICHD research, research support and functions, and provides second level review and recommendations regarding all NICHD-funded research.

photo  Rehab Sciences  06/06/18

Rachel Deer, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences, was recently selected to participate in the National Institute on Aging (NIA) Butler-Williams (B-W) Scholars Program, to be held July 30- August 3, 2018. The B-W Scholars Program is an intensive 5-day program geared towards emerging aging researchers and those with limited involvement in research on aging to learn more about research on aging and to further develop their interest in this challenging and important area. Dr. Deer was selected from a group of outstanding applicants.

photo of Catherine Hay graduation  Rehab Sciences 5/18/18

Catherine Hay, MS receives her Doctor of Philosophy at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Commencement on Friday, May 18th, 2018. Catherine successfully defended her dissertation  in the PhD Program in Rehabilitation Sciences in February. Occupational Therapy is her area of interest.

photo   Rehab Sciences  5/3/18
Mark Sherer, PhD is this year’s recipient of The Robert L. Moody Prize, presented for distinguished work in helping people with traumatic brain injuries. Dr. Sherer is a senior scientist and associate vice president at the Texas Institute for Rehabilitation and Research Memorial Hermann. The Moody Prize is awarded at the annual Galveston Brain Injury Conference.
photo  Rehab Sciences  3/16/18
Rehabilitation Sciences faculty member Rachel Deer, PhD is lead author on article selected as Editor's Choice in the February 2018 issue of Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Medical Sciences, A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial of Interventions to Improve Functional Recovery After Hospitalization in Older Adults: Feasibility and Adherence.

Congratulations to all, including co authors Shawn Goodlett, Steve Fisher, Jacques Baillargeon, Jared Dickinson, Mukaila Raji, and Elena Volpi.
photo  Rehab Sciences  3/15/18

"Predictors of Discharge Settings Following Total Knee Arthroplasty in Medicare Patients," was recently chosen by APTA Health Policy Administration Section, HPA-The Catalyst, Research Committee as Best Poster Presentation.

Lead author & former Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Program student Dr. Rod Welsh and co-authors, James E. Graham, Amol M. Karmarkar, Natalie E. Leland, Jacques G. Baillargeon, Dana Wild, and Kenneth J. Ottenbacher contributed to the article.

photo  Rehab Sciences  3/14/18

Catherine Hay, MS successfully defended her dissertation, "The Impact of Gender, Age, and Performance on Stroke Survivor's Goal Conceptualization, Prioritization, and Attainment," on February 16, 2018. Congratulations, Catherine! Learn more about the PhD Program in Rehabilitation Sciences.

photo Rehab Sciences  3/5/18

Rehabilitation Sciences Assistant Professor Monique Pappadis, MEd, PhD has been appointed to two boards:

Board of Governors of the Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists (ACBIS) of the Brain Injury Association of America

Members of the board work together to elevate the understanding of brain injury in professionals and paraprofessionals across the continuums of rehabilitative service delivery and personal education and experience. Each member has a 3-year term, which can be renewed.

PINK Concussions Professional Advisory Board

Professional Advisory Board members will help PINK Concussions educate other professionals and the public about concussions in girls and women; advocate for additional supports and services, including grants; and establish the reputation of PINK Concussions as a major informational resource on female brain injury including concussions sustained through sports, domestic violence, accidents, and military service.


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