Across the nation there is a growing need for well-trained scientists and clinicians with a commitment to rehabilitation research. The goal of this application is to develop a unique interdisciplinary pre-doctoral training program in rehabilitation and neuromuscular plasticity. This program is unique in that it emphasizes the interaction and joint training of medical rehabilitation clinicians and basic scientists with a common interest in translational research in neuromuscular plasticity. Trainees are selected from a pool of outstanding students with diverse backgrounds and are admitted by one of three graduate programs: Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences, Rehabilitation Sciences, or Health and Human Performance. In order to maximize the cross-fertilization, each trainee will have dual advisors: a medical rehabilitation clinician and a basic scientist. The program faculty members have been selected in terms of their suitability to fill either one or both of these roles. This innovative program, coordinated by the Department of Physical Therapy, focuses on the following central themes (1) characterization of pathophysiology of central nervous system damage and neural regeneration during rehabilitation; (2) characterization of muscular adaptations, motor dysfunction and impairment during CNS injury and rehabilitation; and (3) interaction between neural and muscular adaptations following CNS injury and during rehabilitation. The training program is a well-defined, closely mentored program that includes required and elective courses, laboratory research, seminars, journal clubs, oral presentations and a yearly retreat. An administrative structure has been devised which assures optimal recruitment and selection of trainees, oversight of individual training programs, and overall program evaluation. The research facilities that are available for this training program are extensive and state of the art. In addition, the trainees have access to a highly qualified technical staff to learn clinical and experimental techniques and procedures. This training program in rehabilitation and neuromuscular plasticity will provide the interdisciplinary environment that is fundamental to the advancement of rehabilitation research and will uniquely prepare trainees for translational research in neuromuscular plasticity.

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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Study Section
Pediatrics Subcommittee (CHHD)
Program Officer
Nitkin, Ralph M
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University of Florida
Other Health Professions
Schools of Public Health
United States
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