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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, Texas
As of Fall 2014, the Rehabilitation Sciences Academic Division has 14 currently enrolled students with 21 degrees conferred and one degree pending. We have 7 current postdoctoral fellows and 31 fellowships completed.


Paul ReidyDoctoral Student Paul Reidy selected to participate in American Society of Nutrition's Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Science Poster Competition

Paul Reidy's abstract: The Effect of Soy-Dairy Protein Blend Supplementation during Resistance Exercise Training on was selected for a poster competition at a national forum in March.

ASN's Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Science Poster Competition was created to highlight the very best research submitted by students and young investigators to ASN's Scientific Sessions. Each of ASN's 15 Research Interest Sections as well as the Global Nutrition Council and the Medical Nutrition Council has selected finalists to participate in this competition.

Visit the American Society for Nutrition's website »

Sealy Center on Aging, January, 2014
Lefeber Winter Series on Aging
Learn more about the Lefeber Winter Series »

Sealy Center on Aging, Dec 16, 2014
STRIDE assesses first patient at UTMB
First patient assessed in national study on falls ( PI Elena Volpi, MD, PhD)
Learn more about the STRIDE study at the Sealy Center on Aging website »
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Dr. OttenbacherDr. Kenneth J. Ottenbacher awarded $600,000 grant from U.S. Department of Education
Office of the Provost, Nov 21, 2014

The U.S. Department of Education awarded Kenneth J. Ottenbacher, PhD, OTR, a total of approximately $600,000 for his three-year grant entitled, "Readmission and Disability Outcomes Related to Post Acute Care." Unplanned hospital readmission among individuals in high-cost impairment groups who receive post-acute care services is a significant health care concern. Dr. Ottenbacher and his colleagues will examine hospital readmissions for individuals in high-volume, high-cost impairment groups receiving post-acute care services to determine what factors are associated with hospital readmissions from post-acute care settings and create and test predictive models to identify people at high risk for rehospitalization. Read more »

Dr. VolpiSenior patients participate in UTMB study on reducing rehospitalization
Galveston Daily News, Nov 18, 2014

Marie Butera sits down in a straight chair in the middle of her living room and holds a long red strip of elastic material stretched between her hands. She pulls her arms away from each other, then relaxes; pulls again, then relaxes. The two women sitting on the couch instruct her to place her foot on the exercise band. She pushes her foot away from her, struggling against the resistance of the elastic, then relaxes. She pushes again, knowing that every movement makes her stronger. [Note: Paid subscription required. Contact UTMB Media Relations for details.] This was also covered by UTMB Impact Newsletter. Read the Guidry news article: A Visit with Dr. Elena Volpi. Watch the UTMB Media Relations Video about this study.

Amit Kumar GSA 2014GSA Fellowship Award
Nov. 5-9, 2014

"Life-Space Mobility and Cognitive Decline among Older Mexican Americans Aged 75 Years and Older" was awarded for the best poster presentation on Cognitive Health Disparities Research at The Gerontological Society of America's 67th Annual Scientific Meeting, Washington, DC. Poster authors are Amit Kumar, PhD student at UTMB and Seraina Silberschmidt, summer intern from University of Geneva.


Blake Rasmussen, PhDNew grant awarded to Blake Rasmussen: "Effect of Specific Amino Acids on Human Muscle Protein Synthesis" sponsored by Navitor Pharmaceuticals, Inc November, 2014

About Navitor Pharmaceuticals: Navitor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel medicines by targeting cellular nutrient signaling pathways. The company's proprietary drug discovery platform targets mTORC1, which responds to and integrates the cell's response to nutrient availability and plays a key role in protein synthesis and cellular growth. Navitor's therapeutics are designed to selectively modulate the cellular signals that are aberrant in disease processes caused by the dysregulation of mTORC1 activity to address a wide range of diseases, including metabolic, neurodegenerative, autoimmune and musculoskeletal diseases, as well as several rare disorders. For more information, please visit www.navitorpharma.com. Visit Dr. Rasmussen's bio.


Dr. LyonsActivity monitors are step in the right direction
Houston Chronicle, Nov. 7, 2014

Researchers from UTMB studied 13 of the most popular wearable lifestyle activity monitors to study the effectiveness of behavior change techniques. Elizabeth Lyons, senior author and assistant professor at UTMB's Institute for Translational Sciences, was the lead researcher on this study. "We tested all of the monitors available (late last year) that fit our criteria for a lifestyle-oriented monitor — that is, we did not include monitors intended to measure only individual bouts of activity," Lyons said. "They all had to measure activity across the entire day. We decided to study them because we are currently using one type, the Jawbone Up24, in a trial." Lifestyle monitors increase functionality of standard pedometers and offer much more feedback, according to Lyons. Measuring activity can be challenging without the assistance of some type of monitor. "I like to say that you can't fix what you don't know is broken, and a lot of people don't know just how broken their lifestyles are," Lyons said. "Just wearing a monitor for a few days can be really eye-opening."


CRRLD's Amol Karmarkar, PhD reports on the Annual ACRM Meeting:
CRRLD's Amol Karmarkar, PhD reports on the 2014 ACRM Meeting:

"The Center for Rehabilitation Research using Large Dataset (CRRLD) Exhibition Booth at this year's American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) conference in Toronto, Canada on October 7-11, 2014, was very well visited. We were very pleased to have received such an enthusiastic response from the rehabilitation community on the work our center is doing. Dr. Anne Deutsch, from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) along with Dr. Kenneth Ottenbacher had organized a symposium on 'Best Practices for Reporting Rehabilitation Research', which was directly sponsored by the center's programs on Education and Training. In addition, several of the investigators associated with the center, pilot project awardees, and visiting scholars presented their research work at this event." - Amol Karmarkar, PhD

Dr. LyonsDo wearable trackers measure up to comprehensive professional fitness plans?
Yahoo! News, Sept. 19, 2014

Many wearables lack one or more of the tools that healthcare professionals call upon to help individuals increase their physical activity levels or stick to a fitness regimen, according to a researchers at UTMB, who were impressed by the trackers' overall sophistication anyway. "Despite their rising popularity, little is known about how these monitors differ from one another, what options they provide in their applications and how these options may impact their effectiveness," says senior author Elizabeth Lyons. "The feedback provided by these devices can be as, if not more, comprehensive than that provided by health care professionals."

The news also appears on the Huffington Post, Science Daily, Red Orbit, Health Canal, the Times of India and Medical Xpress.


Dr. LyonsCongratulations to Dr. Elizabeth Lyons on recent K07 Grant Award:

Behavior Change Techniques Implemented in Electronic Lifestyle Activity Monitors: a Systematic Content Analysis

"The proposed research project includes qualitative and quantitative formative research leading to a randomized controlled feasibility trial of a video game-based physical activity intervention. Physical activity can reduce health risks and improve quality of life in breast cancer survivors, but activity levels in this population are low. Clinical interventions are successful in improving activity levels, but these programs are difficult to translate into sustainable home-based programs. Active video games may be able to apply effective strategies from these interventions in a home environment for a relatively low cost, increasing the public health impact of these programs." From the NIH website.

Labros Sidossis, PhDHow brown fat benefits your health
CBS News, Aug. 4, 2014

Continuing coverage: While white fat is mainly used to store energy, brown fat keeps the body warm by burning calories once it is activated. Even better, brown fat seems to primarily "pick" those calories that come from fat and sugar, said Labros Sidossis, a professor of internal medicine in the division of geriatric medicine at UTMB. This in turn may be particularly helpful in fighting health issues such as diabetes and being overweight. "If you can activate it [brown fat], it can help you burn calories," Sidossis said.

UTMB researchers discover brown fat protects against diabetes and obesity
Impact Newsletter, Aug. 4, 2014

Continuing coverage: Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have shown for the first time that people with higher levels of brown fat, or brown adipose tissue, in their bodies have better blood sugar control, higher insulin sensitivity and a better metabolism for burning fat stores.

Dr. Arentson-LantzCongratulations to Rehabilitation Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow Emily Arentson-Lantz

Emily has been appointed Postdoctoral Representative for the Energy and Macronutrient Metabolism Research Interest Section for the American Society for Nutrition for 2014-2015.

About this position: Energy and Macronutrient Metabolism members research the function and metabolism of major energy yielding substrates (carbohydrates, lipids and their derivatives), amino acids and proteins. This Section encompasses research concerned with cellular, tissue, organ, and whole body metabolism and the integration and regulation of metabolism in vivo, under normal healthy and various pathophysiological chronic disease conditions. It covers basic and applied research on the influence of macronutrients and dietary supplements on metabolism, human performance, and body composition.

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Creating Value in Health Care through Big Data

Joachim Roski, PhD, MPH

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