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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.


photo of Dr. Chao Public Now  07/21/17

In 2016, the Shock Society partnered with the Department of Defense to offer fellowships to Shock Society members to conduct research in trauma, hemorrhage shock and sepsis, creating the Shock Society-Department of Defense Battlefield Health and Trauma Fellowship in San Antonio.

The first recipient of the fellowship was Rehabilitation Sciences PhD graduate, Dr. Tony Chao (Dec. '16).

'With all the support and resources surrounding me here at the USAISR, I am looking forward to a very productive second year in my fellowship,' he said. 'Without a doubt, the training that I had and will continue to receive here at the USAISR will provide a strong foundation to further progress me in my goal to become an independent investigator,' said Chao.

Read More: U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research gains fellowship recipients
investigators at workshop presented by Felix Elwert, PhD Rehab Sciences  07/13/17

The Division of Rehabilitation Sciences, the Center for Large Data Research and Data Sharing in Rehabilitation (CLDR), and the Office of Biostatistics in the Department of Preventive Medicine & Community Health at UTMB co-hosted a two-day workshop on July 13-14, for research investigators, "Instrumental Variables Analysis" presented by Felix Elwert, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Joseph T. Giacino, PhD with Dean Protas, UTMB

 Rehab Sciences  06/12/17

Joseph T. Giacino, PhD was named the 2017 recipient of the Robert L. Moody Prize for Distinguished Initiatives in Brain Injury Research and Rehabilitation at the 17th Annual Galveston Brain Injury Conference May 4 & 5, 2017.

The conference is sponsored jointly by the Transitional Learning Center in Galveston and the Center for Recovery, Physical Activity and Nutrition (CeRPAN) at UTMB. Dr. Giacino is the Director of Rehabilitation Neuropsychology and Research Associate in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. He is also an associate professor at Harvard Medical School.

Brian Downer, PhD
USA Today  06/07/17
New research is being reported that finds moderate drinkers were more likely than abstainers or light drinkers to develop worrisome brain changes that might signal eventual memory loss. UTMB’s Brian Downer PhD, comments on the research saying the new findings are a good reminder that even moderate drinking can have health consequences.

This news also reported in Tribune Live, Corpus Christi Caller Times, Cincinnati Enquirer, Abilene Reporter-News and many other media outlets. 
Graduation Commencement 2017
Rehab Sciences  05/19/17
Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Program Director, James Graham, presents Graduates: (top l-r) , Dr. Tony Chao*, Dr. Jessica Jarvis, (bottom l-r) Dr. Kshitija Kulkarni* and Dr. Zakkoyya Lewis-Powell.
(*Degrees conferred in December 2016.)
Dr. Karmarkar-GSBS-Teaching-Award

 Rehab Sciences  05/19/17

Congratulations to Amol Karmarkar, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences, recipient of a Graduate Student Organization Distinguished Teaching Award, presented at the 2017 Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Commencement on May 19, 2017.

Dr. Ottenbacher National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine  05/09/17

While Assistive Technologies Can Enable Those With Disabilities to Work, Environmental and Personal Factors Still Create Barriers

WASHINGTON – Assistive products and technologies – such as wheelchairs, upper-limb prostheses, and hearing and speech devices – hold promise for partially or fully mitigating the effects of impairments and enabling people with disabilities to work, but in some cases environmental and personal factors create additional barriers to employment, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. - Read Press Release

Rehabilitation Sciences Director, Ken Ottenbacher, PhD, OTR, served on the committee that produced this report.

UTACC-MoTrPAC Preview Day 2017

 Rehab Sciences  05/16/17

The Center for Recovery, Physical Activity and Nutrition, a research initiative of the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences and the Department of Nutrition and Metabolism at UTMB hosted visitors from the University of Texas, San Antonio on May 15th, 2017.

Principal Investigator Blake Rasmussen, PhD, gave a presentation about the the University of Texas Adult Clinical Center (UTACC) for the Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC) and visitors toured the lab facilities in the School of Health Professions at UTMB.

Download agenda and view photos of the event.

Monique Pappadis, PhD

 Rehab Sciences  05/18/17

Monique Pappadis, PhD, assistant professor in the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences and Fellow/RL5 Scholar of the Sealy Center on Aging, was recently selected to participate in the National Institute on Aging (NIA) Butler-Williams (B-W) Scholars Program, to be held July 31- August 4, 2017. 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. Pappadis is one of 53 participants selected from among a group of outstanding applicants.

Middleton Pepper Lecture Rehab Sciences  05/03/17

Addie Middleton, PhD, PT, Assistant Professor in Rehab Sciences presented, "Improving Care for Older Adults" in the Pepper Investigator's Lecture on May 3, 2017.

photo: NW corner of UTMB SHP/SON

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

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