Department of
Physical Medicine
and Rehabilitation

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Research

The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation continues to broaden the scope of its research portfolio as it expands into new and emerging fields of study. The division has continued it’s commitment to Spinal Cord Injury, Motion Analysis, Bone Health, Muscle Cell, rehabilitation-based disability prevention, Cardiovascular, and Neuromodulation research as it relates to physical medicine and rehabilitation. There are currently 16 faculty members with external research funding. The division also sponsors internal mini-grants to fund pilot studies.

Currently, Dr. Irene Davis, PT, PhD, a specialist on the biomechanics of running and the director of the Spaulding National Running Center, proposes research to develop an effective physical therapy intervention that is aimed at improving pain and function in females with patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS.) Despite its many health benefits, running--due to its repetitive nature--causes frequent musculoskeletal injuries, with PFPS being the most common injury that runners sustain. With research proposals such as Dr. Davis’, it is our hope as an institution to further promote healthy exercise and living in all areas possible.

Furthermore, the Division and Spaulding Rehabilitation were awarded “The Spaulding-Harvard Spinal Cord Injury System (SH-SCI),” in response to the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research’s call for Spinal Cord Injury Model System Proposals. This is an existing comprehensive network of care spanning from preventative programs and emergency services to outpatient care with a special focus on community reintegration and vocational rehabilitation. With a clinical and investigative team that is world renowned in the field of SCI and is committed to developing evidence-based rehabilitation interventions and clinical practice guidelines through SCI research, we are hopeful that Spaulding will receive consideration for what is undoubtedly going to be a nationally renowned research venture.

Important scientific collaborations have been established with researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, University California San Diego, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Boston University Sargent College of Allied Health Professionals.

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