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Center for Recovery, Physical Activity and Nutrition

Center for Recovery, Physical Activity and Nutrition, formerly the Center for Rehabilitation Sciences

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Division of Rehabilitation Sciences & Center for Recovery, Physical Activity and Nutrition (CeRPAN)



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Thank you for visiting the website for the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences and the Center for Recovery, Physical Activity and Nutrition, formerly the Center for Rehabilitation Sciences.
School of Health Professions building at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TexasThere are 12 students enrolled in the Rehabilitation Sciences PhD program and 5 postdoctoral fellows in the training program. To date, twenty-five PhD degrees have been conferred and 37 fellows have completed the postdoctoral program.



Zakkoyya Lewis-PowellNovember 2015: Congratulations to Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Student Zakkoyya Lewis for Dissertation Wward from the American Heart Association

Comgrats to Zakkoyya on her award of SWA Summer 2015 Predoctoral Fellowship from AHA. About the project: "The goal of this study is to compare the pedometer and electronic activity monitor on increasing health and behavioral outcomes. We want to identify which monitor is better at improving physical activity, cardiovascular risk, body composition, physical function, health status, exercise motivation, psychological feelings toward exercise and self-regulation. We believe that the electronic activity monitor will be more effective than the pedometer. Finally, we want to get feedback from participants and health care providers on how they feel about the intervention."

Zakkoyya Lewis-PowellNovember 2015: Congratulations to Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Student Zakkoyya Lewis for Appointment

Congratulations to Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Student Zakkoyya Lewis for appointment as one of two student co-chairs for the Technology Special Interest Group of the Society of Behavioral Medicine.

November 2015: GSBS Scholarship Awards

Rehabilitation Sciences had a stellar representation at the Annual GSBS Scholarship Awards Luncheon on November 20th . Congratulations to you all:

  • Zakkoyya Lewis-Powell - Emily E. Dupree Endownemt Award for Excellence in Rehabilitation Sciences
  • Kay Kulkarni - GSBS Associates Scholarship Paul Reidy, PhD, now at University of Utah - Jeane B. Kempner Scholar Award
  • Tony Chao and Zakkoyya Lewis-Powell - Don W. Micks Scholarship in Preventative Medicine and Community Health
  • Monica Watford - Charles F. Otis Endowed Award for Clinical Research
  • Tony Chao - Michael Gilles Purgason Memorial Scholarship
  • Amit Kumar - Laura Ray Scholarship
  • Kay Kulkarni - Payton and Lydia Schapper Endowed Scholarship School of Allied Health Sciences
  • Tony Chao - Betty Williams Scholarship

Rachel Deer, PhDOctober 2015: Congratulations to Former Rehab Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow on GSA 2015 Health Science Section Austin Bloch Award Notification

Congratulations to Rachel Deer, PhD on award from the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) for poster Improvement in Timed Up and Go Speed in Acutely Ill Older Adults after 1-month of Post-Hospitalization Interventions selected as the Austin Bloch Post-Doctoral Fellow Award for the GSA Annual Scientific Meeting 2015.

October 2015: UTMB Rehabilitation Sciences at the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine Annual Conference

UTMB Rehabilitation Sciences was represented well at the annual ACRM conference in Dallas. Our presenters included Kenneth Ottenbacher, James Graham, Monique Pappadis, Shilpa Krishnan, Addie Middleton, Monica Watford, Jessica Jarvis, Kay Kulkarni and Catherine Hay.

Tim Reistetter, PhDOctober 2015: Congratulations to Dr. Reistetter on Appointment to National Workgroup

Congratulations to Rehab Sciences program faculty member Tim Reistetter, PhD, Occupational Therapy, who was appointed to the American Academy of Neurology, Stroke Quality Measurees Development Work Group.

October 2015: Congratulations on Grant Submissions

Congratulations to Tim Reistetter, Occupational Therapy, who submitted an R01 grant to AHRQ, "Development and Evaluation of Rehabilitation Service Areas"; to Chris Fry, Nutrition & Metabolism who submitted a K01 grant to NIH "Contribution of satellite cells to skeletal muscle recovery following severe burn injury" and to Liz Lyons, Nutrition & Metabolism who submitted a R21 grant to the NIH entitled "Wearable devices for activity and sleep promotion among postmenopausal women: Project SLEEP/WALK".

October 2015: Welcome Postdoctoral Fellow Elfego Galvan, PhD

Elfego Galvan, PhD, recently joined the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Galvan will be working with Doug Paddon-Jones and members of his research team. He completed his PhD in Exercise Physiology from Texas A&M University and is a registered dietician. His research interests include the effects of nutrition and exercise intervention on weight loss/maintenance, metabolism, human performance, and the biochemical mechanisms regulating skeletal muscle physiology.

Forum on Aging winners
October 22, 2015: 19th Annual Forum on Aging at UTMB

The Sealy Center on Aging and the Department of Research Services hosted the 19th Annual Forum on Aging at UTMB on October 22, 2015 at Levin Hall. The Forum was a success, with five postdoctoral and eight student awards given. Visit the Forum on Aging website for more information about the forum and winning research posters. Congratulations of Rehabilitation Sciences students Zakkoya Lewis amd Amit Kumar as well as Postdoctoral Trainee Addie Middleton on submitting winning posters!


CeRPAN video: October 2015 - CeRPAN Video Posted: Nutrition and Athletes: How to Prepare for Competition with UTMB's Dr. Paddon-Jones

Dr. Doug Paddon-Jones, Director of the Physical Activity and Functional Recovery Translational Research Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch, describes the best strategy for optimizing athletic performance through nutrition.


Liz Lyons, PhDMaria Swartz, PhDAugust 2015: Congratulations to Rehab Sciences Core Faculty and Postdoctoral Fellow on President's Cabinet Award

Congratulations to faculty member Liz Lyons, PhD, MPH and postdoc Maria Swartz, PhD on their recent President's Cabinet Award for their project entitled, Pink Warrior: Support Group Toolkit for Breast Cancer Survivors. They will be formally recognized at a reception on Sept. 11, 2015.

Updated October 12: 2015 UTMB President's Cabinet Awards recipients announced, Guidry News and UTMB Newsroom reporting.


Ken Ottenbacher, PhD, OTR September 2015: Congratulations to Dr. Ottenbacher on Competitive Renewal of Rehabilitation Grant

Ken Ottenbacher, PhD, OTR, has received notice of the competitive renewal of his grant entitled "Center for Large Data Research and Data Sharing in Rehabilitation" for a period from 9-18-15 through 6-30-20. Congratulations to Dr. Ottenbacher and his successful team!

Fall 2015: Welcome, New Students & Congratulations to Transitioning Students and Postdocs.

With the new academic year, we have new students and some transitions. Two new PhD students are starting in the Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Program this semester: Jaspreet Sodhi and Efi Polychronopoulou.

Brad Lambert, PhD, completed his postdoctoral fellowship and has accepted a position as a Research Scientist at the Methodist Research Institute. Paul Riedy, PhD, completed his PhD in May and has accepted a postdoctoral position at the University of Utah. Maria Chondronikola, PhD, completed her PhD in August and will remain at UTMB as a postdoctoral fellow at the Shriner's Burns Hospital.

A Welcome Reception for new and returning students, postdocs and faculty in the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences is scheduled Friday, September 18th. See your email for details.

Shilpa Krishnan, PhDSeptember, 2015: Shilpa Krishnan to serve on UTMB Diversity Council

Congratulations to postdoctoral fellow Shilpa Krishnan on her appointment for 2015-2016 to the UTMB Diversity Council.


Blake Rasmussen, PhDSeptember 16, 2015: Blake Rasmussen Receives New Grant from NIH/NIA

Blake Rasmussen, Associate Director of the Center for Recovery, Physical Activity and Nutrition (CeRPAN) received funding for his grant on Nutrition Sensing & Signaling in Aging Muscle - 1R56AG051267-01.

"The grant has two parts. The first part will be a small clinical trial in which we will enroll 20 older adults into a 3 month weight training program to determine whether an improvement in muscle strength and function causes muscle to become more sensitive to nutrients such as amino acids. In the second part we will perform a small study in transgenic mice in an effort to identify how aging results in muscle becoming less sensitive to nutrients." ~ Dr. Rasmussen.


Labros Sidossis, PhDThe body fat that burns calories more quickly
The Daily Star
September 1, 2015

New UTMB research that finds under the right conditions it is possible for white fat to become brown fat. Brown fat has been shown to burn calories and keep blood sugar levels in check. The research showed it's possible to make white fat burn more calories, something that could be the start of a new way of addressing obesity and diabetes.

All Rehab Sciences News           UTMB Newsroom
Faculty Position Available

JOB ID 46540 - Assistant Professor, Health Services Research in Disability, Rehabilitation and Post-Acute Care in the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences, School of Health Professions, at The University of Texas Medical Branch.

Event Highlights

Center for Recovery, Physical Activity, and Nutrition lecture by David A. Brown, PT, PhD.
10/2/15 at Noon:
Center for Recovery, Physical Activity, and Nutrition lecture by David A. Brown, PT, PhD.
More about Dr. Brown.

Past Events »