News & Announcements Archive

2018 / 2017 / 2016



12/31/2016 - Dr. Lyons on Plant-Based Diets

Liz Lyons, PhD, MPH

 Galv Daily News  12/31/16

UTMB's Elizabeth Lyons was quoted in a Daily News story exploring different types of eating plans. "A plant-based diet on the whole is recognized as the best way to fuel the human body," Lyons told The Daily News.

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12/19/2016 - Dr. Middleton Receives Writing Award

Addie MIddleton, PhD, PT

 Rehab Sciences  12/19/16

Rehab Sciences faculty member Addie Middleton, PhD, PT received an Honorable Mention Award for best paper (AAP Excellence in Research Writing Award), titled "Program Interruptions and Short-Stay Transfers Represent Potential Targets for Inpatient Rehabilitation Care-Improvement Efforts." The award recognizes the lead authors of the best papers published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (AJPM&R) each year.

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12/18/2016 - Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Award Winners

"Old Red" Ashbel Smith Building

Congratulations to Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Award Winners:

Former students, Maria Chondronikola, PhD and Paul Reidy, PhD both received the Jeane Kempner Scholar Award.

Tony Chang, PhD received the Edith and Robert Zinn Presidential Scholarship.

Ioannis Malagaris received the Eleanor Dupree Otis Biostatistics Scholarship.

Catherine Hay received the Emily E. Dupree Endowed Award for Excellence in Rehabilitation Science Scholarship.

Both Zakkoyya Lewis-Powell, PhD and Catherine Hay received the Peyton and Lydia Schapper Endowed Scholarship in the School of Allied Health Sciences.

Julianna Bores received the Stephen C. Silverthorne Memorial Award Scholarship.

Zakkoyya Lewis-Powell, PhD and former student, Amit Kumar, PhD where named 2016 Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

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12/14/2016 - New Physical Activity Grant

MoTrPAC-UTACC banner image

 Rehab Sciences  12/14/16

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has received a $6.6 million grant to take part in a national project that will analyze what molecular changes occur in people as a result of physical activity. The research could lead to people engaging in more targeted and optimized types of physical activity.

UTMB will be a part of the Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium and Blake Rasmussen, professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition and Metabolism, will be the principal investigator.

Read More:

This news also reported in Public Now, Genome Web, Targeted News Service and

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12/02/2016 - Dissertation Defense: Zakkoyya Lewis-Powell

Koyya Lewis, BS (8/2013)

 Rehab Sciences  12/02/16

On December 2, 2016 Zakkoyya Lewis-Powell successfully defended her dissertation, "TAME Health: Testing Activity Monitors' Effect on Health" for the degree Doctor of Philosophy in the Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Program.

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12/01/2016 - Data Archiving Webinar Recordings Now Available

graphic about data sharing process

 Rehab Sciences  12/01/16

Two webinars by CLDR consortium partner ICPSR about the Archive of Data on Disability to Enable Policy and research (ADDEP) are now available to watch online:

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11/21/2016 - PhD Students: Are Friend and Family the Best 'Medicine?'

Catherine Hay and Zajjoya Lewis-Powell, Rehab Doctoral Students

 Galv Daily News  11/21/16

Rehabilitation Sciences PhD students Zakkoyya Lewis-Powell , Catherine Hay and others published a study that found patients with strong social support from family and friends spend less time in inpatient rehabilitation facilities. "A positive outlook or attitude, which we often label as "positive affect" in our research, is tied to better outcomes and overall health," Hay said. Read the article: Are Friends and Family the Best 'Medicine?'

This manuscript, "Social Support and Actual Versus Expected Length of Stay in Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities," is featured on the cover of the December 2016 issue of the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

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11/18/2016 - Professorships in Aging, Paddon-Jones & Sheffield-Moore

Doug Paddon-Jones, PhDMelinda Sheffield-Moore, PhD

 Rehab Sciences  11/18/16

Congratulations to Douglas Paddon-Jones, PhD for appointment to the Sheridan Lorenz Distinguished Professorship in Aging and Health. Dr. Paddon-Jones has been a UTMB faculty member since 2003. His research activities focus on the regulation of muscle metabolism, mass, and function in healthy and at-risk populations.

Congratulations to Melinda Sheffield-Moore, PhD for appointment to the Grace Bucksch Gnitzinger Distinguished Professorship in Aging. Dr. Sheffield-Moore joined UTMB's faculty in 2000. Her clinical research program is focused on investigating the systemic and skeletal-muscle specific endocrine and metabolic dysfunction that accompanies cancer, aging, spaceflight, and traumatic brain injury.

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11/16/2016 - Protein Symposium Hosted by CeRPAN

Optimizing Protein Through the HealthspanSymposium-Nov2016

 Rehab Sciences  11/16/16

UTMB hosted a symposium entitled "Optimizing Protein Through the Healthspan," featuring national nutrition experts, supported by the Department of Nutrition and Metabolism and the Center for Recovery, Physical Activity and Nutrition in November 2016.


- Translating Research into Practice for Infants and Children presented by Keli Hawthorne, MS, RD, Director of Clinical Research, Dept. of Pediatrics, Dell Medical School

- Protein, Particularly at Breakfast, on Appetite, Satiety, and Weight Management presented by Heather Leidy, PhD, Purdue University

- Protein, Muscle Inactivity: Protecting Muscle Health During Aging presented by Doug Paddon-Jones, PhD, UTMB

- Dietary Protein in Weight Loss presented by Stuart Phillips, PhD, McMaster University

- Practical Advice for Performance presented by Marie Spano, MS, RD, CSCS, CSSD Sports Dietitian Atlanta Hawks

- Physician's Perspective in Aging presented by Elena Volpi, MD, PhD, UTMB

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11/07/2016 - ACRM 2016: Dr. Ottenbacher Gold Key Award

 Rehab Sciences  11/07/16

The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) Annual Meeting was held Oct 30-Nov 4, 2016. The Center for Large Data Research in Rehabilitation (CLDR) hosted a booth and sessions by Dr. Ottenbacher and Dr. Graham.

Congratulations to Dr. Ottenbacher, recipient of the Gold Key Award, presented at the Henry B. Betts Awards Gala.

ACRM 2016 Gold Key Award recipient: Kenneth J. Ottenbacher, PhD, OTR // PIRR16_THU_0528

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10/20/2016 - Inaugural Dr. Suzanne Kneuper Linder Research Award


 Rehab Sciences  10/20/16

The Sealy Center on Aging presented the inaugural Dr. Suzanne Kneuper Linder Research Award for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research to postdoctoral fellow Maria C. Swartz, PhD, MPH, RD, LD, during the 20th Annual Forum on Aging on October 20, 2016.

The Dr. Suzanne Kneuper Linder Research Award Fund is a permanent endowment in the School of Health Professions, established in memory of Dr. Suzanne Linder, former Edna Seinsheimer Levin Endowed Professor in Cancer Studies and Assistant Professor in the Division of Rehabilitation. Funds distributed from the endowment shall be used to give an award to a Fellow and/or Student and/or other Trainee working in patient centered research. The awardee is selected by the Director of the Sealy Center on Aging in consultation with the Dean of the School of Health Professions.

Dr. Swartz's primary area of research aims to develop and evaluate technology-based health promoting interventions that can be incorporated into pre-habilitation, rehabilitation, and community settings to improve cancer survivors' quality of life. Dr. Swartz's long-term goal is to use her research to influence health policy change in order to optimize cancer care for cancer survivors.

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10/20/2016 - Forum on Aging: Winning Posters by Rehab Students & Postdocs


 Rehab Sciences  10/20/16

The 20th Annual Forum on Aging, sponsored by the Sealy Center on Aging and Research Services at UTMB was held on October 20, 2016 at Levin Hall. A record number of 89 posters were submitted, including 58 from students and fellows, competing for 14 awards.

Winners from the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences were:

- PhD Student Poster Award: Kshitija Kulkarni (Rehabilitation Sciences, "Association of Obesity and Hospital Readmissions, and Reasons for Readmission, following Inpatient Rehabilitation for Total Hip or Knee Arthroplasty")

- Postdoc Poster Awards: Ickpyo Hong (Health Disparities, "International Disability Comparisons Between Old Adults in the United States and Korea Using the Rasch Model"), Elfego Galvan (Clinical Trials & Implementation, "Preserving Muscle Mass and Function in Bedridden Older Adults: Effects of Low-Intensity Exercise")

- Sigma Xi Membership: Elfego Galvan

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10/12/2016 - Dissertation Defense: Kay Kulkarni

Kay Kulkarni

 Rehab Sciences  10/12/16

On October 12, 2016 Kay Kulkarni successfully defended her dissertation, "Effect of Obesity on Rehabilitation Outcomes following Hip/Knee Arthroplasty among Medicare Beneficiaries with Osteoarthritis," for the degree Doctor of Philosophy in the Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Program.

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10/10/2016 - Dissertation Defense: Tony Chao


 Rehab Sciences  10/10/16

On October 10, 2016 Tony Chao successfully defended his dissertation, "NOVEL DRUG AND EXERCISE THERAPIES TO RESTORE METABOLIC FUNCTION IN CHILDREN WITH SEVERE BURNS," for the degree Doctor of Philosophy in the Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Program.

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10/06/2016 - PMCH Seminar: Monique Pappadis, Med, PhD


 Rehab Sciences  10/06/16

Monique Pappadis, Med, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences, presented a lecture, "Conceptualization of Overdetection of Breast Cancer Screening Among Older Women," on October 6, 2016 in the Preventive Medicine & Community Health Seminar Series.

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10/05/2016 - Brian Downer, PhD presents Pepper Investigator's Lecture

Brian Downer, PhD

 Rehab Sciences  10/05/16

Brian Downer, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences presented a lecture, "Measuring Cognition in Skilled Nursing Facilities," in the Pepper Investigator's Lecture Series at the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (OAIC) on October 5, 2016.

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10/04/2016 - Dr. Al Snih: Educator of the Month, Academy of Master Teachers

Soham Al Snih, MD, PhD

 Rehab Sciences  10/04/16

Soham Al Snih, MD, PhD, Associate Professor Division of Rehabilitation Sciences, has been selected as the UTMB Academy of Master Teachers Educator of the Month for October, 2016.

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09/30/2016 - Dr. Middleton on Stroke Rehab Interruptions

Addie MIddleton, PhD, PT

 HealthDay News  09/30/16

About 11 to 12 percent of stroke rehabilitation interruptions may have been preventable, including 15 percent of those in stroke patients, according to a UTMB study. Rehabilitation facilities are performing well according to UTMB's Addie Middleton. "Given that more than one in 10 of the rehospitalized patients returned to acute care for a potentially avoidable condition, there is still room for improvement," Middleton said. This news also reported in MedicineNet, The La Crosse Tribune, Herald & Review, Pantagraph, Napa Valley Reister, The Ledger Independent,, The Southern Illinoisan, Globe Gazette, The Times and Democrat and many other outlets across the nation.

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09/29/2016 - Dr Middleton: Rehab Care for Neurological Conditions

Addie MIddleton, PhD, PT

 The Medical News  09/29/16

New research from UTMB's Addie Middleton is some of the first to look at patient rehab and focus on the impact of program interruptions and short-stay transfers in patients with stroke, brain injury or spinal cord injury. The research suggests that rehabilitation facilities are performing well but there is room for improvement. This news also reported in Health Medicine Network, Medical Xpress and MedIndia.

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09/21/2016 - CeRPAN Lecture: Roy Coronado, PhD, PT


 Rehab Sciences  09/21/16

Rogelio Coronado, PT, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation at UTMB, gave a lecture entitled, "Integration of Pain Self-Management and Physical Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain," in the Center for Recovery, Physical Activity and Nutrition Seminar Series on September 21, 2016.

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09/20/2016 - New Grant to Study Muscle Loss

Elena Volpi, MD, PhD

 Life Science Daily  09/20/16

A new study led by UTMB's Elena Volpi will focus on how diabetes and bed rest inactivity change the way amino acids are used to build muscle and how exercise training can mitigate those changes in people living with Type 2 diabetes. "Loss of strength and muscle is an important problem of aging that decreases physical functioning and independence," said Volpi. A $2.7 million grant from the National Institute on Aging is funding the study. This news also reported in TMC News.

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09/20/2016 - Dr Raji: Alzheimer's Research Offers Hope


 Galv Daily News  09/20/16

UTMB's Mukaila Raji spoke to the Daily News about Alzheimer's disease research. "I think curative answers will lie in a combination of lifestyle changes, medications and vaccines that target multiple areas," Raji said.

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09/19/2016 - Rehab PhD Student: Strong Social Support & Length of Rehab Stay


 Pharmacy Choice  09/19/16

Strong social support can mean less time spent in inpatient rehabilitation facilities, according to new research from UTMB. "When someone does not have the social support of family and friends, they take longer to return home to the community," said UTMB's Zakkoyya Lewis-Powell , one of the authors of the study and Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Student. This news also reported in Sunday WorldMedical Xpress and UTMB's Impact Newsletter

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09/19/2016 - NIH Research Plan on Rehabilitation


 Rehab Sciences  09/19/16

This comprehensive plan outlines six priority areas, including investigating new approaches to assistive technology in the home, expanding resources to recruit scientists and innovators to the field and analyzing the biology, chemistry and genetic components of recovery to better understand why some people are better able to recover after injury, while others require more rigorous rehabilitation. Download the NIH Research Plan on Rehabilitation: Moving the Field Forward.

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09/15/2016 - Dr. Paddone-Jones: Protein Mistake


 MSN Lifestyle  09/15/16

Protein is part of a healthy diet, but most people are taking in much more than recommended according to a UTMB study conducted by Douglas Paddon-Jones and colleagues. "We're not pythons," says Paddon-Jones. "We can't eat an entire chicken and use its protein for the rest of the week." The study recommends a protein intake spread evenly throughout the day. This news also reported in The Herald.

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09/11/2016 - Dr. Goodwin Comments on Presidential Nominee's Health

James Goodwin, MD

 Washington Post  09/11/16

UTMB's James Goodwin spoke to the Washington Post for a story about Hillary Clinton's health. "It's usually not indicative of broader health issues," Goodwin told the Post concerning the presidential nominee's episode over the weekend.

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08/05/2016 - Dr. Volpi: New Grant on Treatments For Muscle Loss

Elena Volpi, MD, PhD

 Rehab Sciences  08/05/16

Elena Volpi, MD, PhD, Director of the Sealy Center on Aging and Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center and Daisy Emery Allen Distinguished Chair in Geriatric Medicine has been awarded $2.7 million from the National Institute on Aging for the five-year project, "Identifying therapeutic targets of accelerated sarcopenia."

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07/25/2016 - Dr. Paddon-Jones on Protein


 Prevention: Protein myths messing with your diet    07/25/16

Prevention magazine spoke with UTMB's Douglas Paddon-Jones to help dispel some common myths about protein. Paddon-Jones said most people should focus on redistributing the protein they eat throughout the day rather than trying to pack more protein into their diet.

 Consumer Reports: Strength Training Tips to Live Longer and Better    07/25/16

Adults lose muscle mass as they age but it is possible to slow loss and even rebuild muscle. UTMB's Douglas Paddon-Jones spoke about the importance of protein in a person's diet to "maintain muscle as we age."

 Men's Health: How Much Protein Can Your Muscles Absorb In One Sitting?    07/19/16

Men's Health magazine spoke with UTMB's Doug Paddon-Jones about the amount of protein your body is able to absorb. "Skeletal muscle protein synthesis is maximized by 25 to 35 grams of high-quality protein during a meal," Paddon-Jones told the magazine.

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07/16/2016 - Dr. Lyons Weighs in on Pokemon


 Galv Daily News: It's a Pokemon world, we're just living in it   07/16/16

To say that Pokémon Go has been a hit would be an understatement. Players of the popular phone app can be seen walking around neighborhoods and parks searching for the little pocket monsters and the social and physical aspects of the game could be driving its popularity, said UTMB's Elizabeth Lyons. "It's a lot more social than a lot of other active games have been," Lyons told The Daily News.

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07/08/2016 - Dr. Pappadis Presents Disability Research in S. Korea


 Rehab Sciences  07/08/16

Dr. Monique Pappadis, Assistant Professor in the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences represented UTMB at the 2016 Joint Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development (SWSD) in Seoul, South Korea from June 27 – 30, 2016. Dr. Pappadis participated as a speaker in a disability forum with three other international disability researchers, representing Malaysia, Thailand, USA/Vietnam. She presented, "Psychosocial Adjustment to Disability among Middle-Aged Adults with Traumatic Brain Injury."

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06/29/2016 - Dr. Paddon-Jones Discusses Protein in TIME Magazine

Doug Paddon-Jones, PhD

 TIME: 9 Simple Ways to Eat Protein at Every Meal   06/29/16

UTMB's Douglas Paddon-Jones spoke to Time about the best ways to consume protein and how to properly plan your meals to get the most out of the protein you eat. "I'd like to see people eat more of it in the morning, and cut back at night when stuffing a whole bunch of energy into your meal isn't going to do you much good," Paddon-Jones says.

 TIME: What Happens If I Don't Eat Enough Protein?   06/22/16

While experts are still divided on how much protein is the optimal amount in a person's diet, all agree that eating protein is an important part of staying healthy. But it could take years before the ill effects of inadequate protein show up, said UTMB's Douglas Paddon-Jones. "You'll be faced with an injury or illness, and you'll find your immune system's ability to respond to these crises will be compromised," he told Time. This news also reported in Yahoo! Finance.

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06/28/2016 - Dr. Lyons: 3 Tips for Raising Your Step Count

Liz Lyons, PhD, MPH

 Diabetes Forecast   06/28/16

UTMB's Elizabeth Lyons is quoted in an article about increasing the number of steps a person takes in a day. "For a lot of people, getting 3,000 more steps than [they're] getting now is probably a good goal," Lyons told Diabetes Forecast.

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06/28/2016 - AcademyHealth 2016 Annual Research Meeting


 Rehab Sciences  06/28/16

Faculty in the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences at UTMB traveled to the AcademyHealth 2016 Annual Research Meeting June 26-29 in Boston to present the following posters:

Dr. Graham presented, "Effects of Relative Referral Volume from Acute Hospitals on Inpatient Rehabilitation Outcomes"

Dr. Middleton, "Facility-Type is Associated with Potentially-Preventable Within Stay Readmissions in Medicare Fee-For-Service Beneficiaries Receiving Inpatient Rehabilitation."

Dr. Karmarkar, "Do Post-Acute Care Affiliations Affect Patient Access to Those Settings"

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06/10/2016 - Dissertation Defense: Monica Watford


 Rehab Sciences  06/10/16

Rehab Sciences PhD Program Student Monica Watford successfully defended her dissertation titled, "Examining Trends and Evaluating Outcomes in Older Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury" on Friday, June 10th at UTMB.

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06/07/2016 - Dr. Graber Receives Research Awards

Ted Graber, PhD (4/2015)

 Rehab Sciences  06/07/16

Rehabilitation Sciences Postdoctoral Trainee Ted Graber, PhD recently received the following awards/grants:

UTMB Clinical and Translational Science Award: NRSA (National Research Service Award) Fellowship funded by NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) UL1TL1TR001440 (Hellmich, PI). Fellowship pays salary for 1 year with an option for a second year. This award is essentially an internal F32 grant.

American Society for Nutrition's Energy and Macronutrient Metabolism Research Interest Section (EMM RIS) Travel Award for his abstract which was the top abstract submitted by an early-career member and programmed in one of EMM's eight sponsored mini symposia (oral sessions) at the 2016 Experimental Biology meeting.

Bench Tutorial Program Award: 2016 Team Science Award for outstanding achievement in the Bench Tutorials Symposium. This award recognizes outstanding mentorship and teamwork with the mentee.

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06/02/2016 - Dr. Middleton to Participate in NIH Sponsored Workshop

Addie MIddleton, PhD, PT

 Rehab Sciences  06/02/16

Dr. Addie Middleton was invited to attend a workshop: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Engage Specialty Investigators in Aging Research, sponsored in part by Wake Forest School of Medicine and the NIH. As an early career faculty member studying the role of functional assessment in clinical care, Dr. Middleton was nominated to attend, present a poster, and participate in the Aging Research for Junior Faculty Symposium following the event.

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06/01/2016 - Dr. Downer Receives Pilot Award

Brian Downer, PhD

 Rehab Sciences  06/01/16

Dr. Brian Downer received a Precision Medicine/Outcomes Research Pilot Grant, Hispanic Alzheimer's Risk Reduction Trial (HARRT), sponsored by the the Institute for Translational Sciences supported by the Clinical and Translational Science Award (UL1TR001439) received from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science, National Institute of Health. The project is co-sponsored by the Sealy Center on Aging at UTMB. The goals of HARRT are to educate Hispanics age 55 to 64 about Alzheimer's disease and reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease in this population by targeting modifiable risk factors.

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05/31/2016 - Dr. Swartz NIDILRR ARRT Fellow for the 2016 ACRM Meeting


 Rehab Sciences  05/31/16

Rehabilitation Sciences Postdoctoral Trainee Dr. Maria Swartz has been selected as one of six National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training Fellows in the Young Investigators Symposium for the 2016 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine Meeting to be held in Chicago Oct 30-Nov 4, 2016.

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05/20/2016 - GSBS Commencement: Congratulations Graduates


 Rehab Sciences  05/20/16

Pictured left to right: Monica Watford, James Graham (PhD Program Director) and Rodney Welch. May 20, 2016: Five Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Program students were honored at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Commencement. Congratulations to graduates Michael Borak, Maria Chondronikola, Aaron Gray, Monica Watford* and Rodney Welsh.
*Degree conferred end of summer term.

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2018 / 2017 / 2016
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