A primary goal of the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research is to bring the health-related problems of people with disabilities to the attention of America's best scientists in order to capitalize upon the myriad advances occurring in the biological, behavioral, and engineering sciences. To achieve this goal, it is imperative tha we train top-notch rehabilitation scientists. This grant will support training of outstanding rehabilitation scientists by providing highly interdisciplinary predoctoral and postdoctoral trainig (4 predoctoral and 1 postdoctoral slots per year) in Movement Science to students from diverse backgrounds. The training program, while administratively housed within the Program in Physical Therapy, is strongly interdisciplinary. At present, over half of our predoctoral trainees and all of our post-doctoral trainees are from non-PT backgrounds (e.g., biomedical engineering, exercise science, kinesiology, neuroscience, occupational therapy, dance, physics). The environment at Washington University Medical Center is ideally suited for this training because it combines a premiere medical school with a strong infrastructure for research and a hospital system that includes a world-class rehabilitation center. Our training program utilizes the expertise of outstanding investigators from throughout the University to provide interdisciplinary guidance in academic and research activities. The PhD curriculum is built on the concept of the movement system and encompasses three core areas: biocontrol, biomechanics, and bioenergetics. The program has active involvement from well-respected and established investigators in many related fields including Neuroscience, Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Orthopedic Surgery, Radiology, Medicine (Physiology), and Psychology. The engagement of established investigators with an interest in integrating basic science and clinical manifestations of disease and injury results in the production of top quality, interdisciplinary research in rehabilitation. This is evidenced in the success of our trainees, who average 6 peer-reviewed publications during their training. Average time to completion of degree is 4.6 years in the full time pre-doctoral program, which now has a 25-year history of success and a graduation rate of over 90%. All training grant funded graduates are employed in academic settings and productive in obtaining extramural funding, publishing research in the area of rehabilitation, and training other scientists and professionals in rehabilitation related fields.

Public Health Relevance

This grant supports training of exceptional rehabilitation scientists through a highly integrated, interdisciplinary Movement Science PhD Program. Our graduates are experts in the study of movement, with work spanning from the basic science level through to clinical application. Individuals trained in the Movement Science Program go on to hold research positions, in academia or industry, and contribute to the science of rehabilitation, its translation to clinical practice and the training of future leaders in the fiel.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1)
Program Officer
Nitkin, Ralph M
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Washington University
Other Health Professions
Schools of Medicine
Saint Louis
United States
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