The goal of this proposal is to attain support for a new interdisciplinary program in Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences (MRS), created at Northwestern University under the umbrella of the Northwestern University Interdepartmental Neuroscience (NUIN) program. The mission of the NUIN-MRS program is to train students with clinical and life/applied science backgrounds to become rehabilitation scientists in basic, translational or clinical research. These rehabilitation scientists will have the ability to integrate knowledge from the various disciplines involved in MRS, including neuroscience and physiology, engineering and clinical sciences. The training program will focus on the neurobiology of movement and rehabilitation sciences, with three main goals: 1) understanding the neurobiology of movement behavior and disorders, 2) identifying and addressing the need for quantitative methods in MRS, and 3) applying this knowledge to the development of effective rehabilitation interventions. Northwestern University has a long and recognized history in the study of motor control, motor disability and recovery, and neural reorganization. Extensive research is performed in these areas at various levels, from basic animal and human studies focused on the control of movement and movement disorders to the development of novel rehabilitation interventions that address these movement disorders. The interdisciplinary nature of the program will allow close interaction between clinical investigators and basic and applied sciences investigators, providing a unique opportunity for training in translational research, going from the laboratory to the clinic. The PIs intend to support a total of 4 predoctoral students in year 1 of the training program and 7 trainees in each of years 2-5. The program will provide support for a total of two years for each trainee.
The number of individuals with disabilities and the extent of the disabilities continue to increase with a clear impact on the need for developing better and more effective rehabilitation interventions. The proposed NUIN-MRS PhD program will train rehabilitation scientists based on solid fundamental science principles combined with quantitative methods to allow them to establish research programs to develop effective rehabilitation interventions and, more importantly, transfer them to the clinic.
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