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

RRCD Logo: Click to visit Rehabilitation Research Career Development Program

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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 in the School of Health Professions at UTMB. We have established an infrastructure to support research related to rehabilitation, disability and recovery including a respected PhD program, funding for PhD students and postdoctoral fellows, career development and infrastructure for large data research and data sharing. There are 10 students enrolled in the Rehabilitation Sciences PhD program and 5 postdoctoral fellows in the training program. To date, 27 PhD degrees have been conferred and 37 fellows have completed the postdoctoral program.


Medicare wants to slash complications in hip and knee replacements

Ken Ottenbacher, PhD, OTR April 15, 2016: Marketwatch
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has launched a program to improve care coordination in hip and knee replacements for 55 million Medicare beneficiaries. Hospitals participating in the program will receive payments from Medicare retroactively for an entire episode of care, a period lasting up to 90 days after a hospital discharge. UTMB's Kenneth J. Ottenbacher says it a pretty dramatic step for CMS.

This news also reported at MSN Money and Morningstar.

April 15, 2016: CLDR Pilot Project Application Deadline

CLDR Pilot Projects - Important Dates for Category 1 Projects - March 1: Letter of Intent deadline - March 15: Notifications in response to LOI - April 15: Pilot application deadline - May 15: Funding decision notifications - July 1: Start Date Note: Category 2 project applications are accepted year round.The CLDR's pilot studies program is designed to offer practical experience in managing, analyzing, and interpreting findings using large data analytics and secondary data analysis. The Center will fund pilot studies in two categories: Category 1 will include research examining questions using a large administrative or healthcare research dataset and Category 2 will involve the archiving of existing data from a completed study.

Read more at the CLDR website

April 11, 2016: Birth Control Pill Protects Teenage Girls from ACL Injuries According to UTMB Researchers

Click to watch videoGALVESTON, Texas - Researchers from The University of Texas Medical Branch have found that women who take the birth control pill, which lessen and stabilize estrogen levels, were less likely to suffer serious knee injuries. The findings are currently available in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. Aaron Gray, a doctoral degree recipient in rehabilitation sciences, said he was always interested in orthopedics. That interest piqued once he started working in sports medicine. Guidry News Article »

April 13, 2016: Workshop on Disaster Preparedness for the Elderly

Click to view photos of the workshop.

A workshop entitled, "A Guide for Community-Based Planning: A Continuum of Care Model for Caring for Elders During Disaster" was offered on April 13, 2016 to area healthcare workers and other professionals involved in the care of elders and disaster preparedness, sponsored by the Galveston County Health District. [PDF Announcement] [photos]

Workshop Facilitators:
Ray Runo, MPA, Senior Program Manager, Disasters, Strategies, & Ideas, Tallahassee, Fl
James Graham, PhD, PCOR Pilot Project PI and Associate Professor, Rehabilitation Sciences at UTMB

April 11, 2016: Doctoral Student Receives Shock Travel Award

Brian Downer, PhD at  Population Association of America annual meetingCongratulations to Rehabilitation Sciences Doctoral Student Tony Chao on recent Travel Award to attend the Thirty-Ninth Annual Conference on Shock to be held in Austin, TX, June 11-14, 2016.



April 9, 2016: Dr. Downer Presents MHAS Findings at PAA Annual Meeting

Brian Downer, PhD at  Population Association of America annual meetingThree posters from UTMB focusing on different waves of the Mexican Health and Aging Study were showcased at the Population Association of America annual meeting in Washington D.C. on March 30 - April 2, 2016. These posters represent 3 out of 1000 that were selected to present at the meeting.

SCOA Predoctoral Trainee Joseph Saenz received 1 out of 50 prestigious poster awards for his collaborative work titled "Mortality Following Spousal Loss Among Older Mexicans". Former SCOA Research Scientist Cesar Gonzalez-Gonzalez and Rehabilitation Sciences Assistant Professor and former SCoA Postdoctoral Trainee Brian Downer, PhD also presented their work on MHAS.

March 21, 2016: Rehabilitation Sciences Postdoctoral Trainee Presents Winning Poster at ITS Forum

Sharon Croissant and Maria SwartzPostdoctoral Trainee Maria Swartz, PhD was the 2nd place winner in the T1-T4 in 3 Competition at the Clinical & Translational Research Forum on campus March 21, 2016 for her project entitled, "Factors associated with adherence to activity monitor-based physical activity intervention in older adults".


March 21, 2016: Rehabilitation Sciences Doctoral Student Presents Winning Poster at ITS Forum

Dr. Volpi and Ioannis MalagarisDoctoral Student Ioannis Malagaris was the T3 student winner at the Clinical & Translational Research Forum on campus March 21, 2016, for his poster, entitled,"Time to Hospital Admission Does Not Influence Skeletal Muscle Protein Metabolism in Patients with Severe Burns".


March 8, 2016: Drs. Volpi & Protas Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Sports Medicine

Dr. Volpi and Dr. ProtasThe Texas American College of Sports Medicine honored CeRPAN Core faculty members, Dean of School of Health Professions Elizabeth Protas and Sealy Center on Aging Director Dr. Elena Volpi during the group's annual meeting. Dr. Volpi received the group's Honor Award for her "outstanding contributions to exercise and sports medicine." Dr. Protas received the group's Service Award for "significant service" and for serving as the group's president and executive director.

CeRPAN Seminar Series

March 4, 2016: CeRPAN Seminar Series

Jonathon Bean, MD, MS, MPH presented, "Defining a role for rehabilitation in models of preventative care for community dwelling older adults" in the CeRPAN Seminar Series on March 4, 2016.

Watch the video | Download Flier

Ted Graber, PhD working in the lab

February 29, 2016: Postdoctoral Trainee Ted Graber Presents TRAM

Rehab Sciences Postdoctoral Trainee Ted Graber, PhD will present, "Genes Associated with Amino-Acid Sensing in Human Skeletal Muscle are Altered by Amino Acid Availability and Acute Lysosomal Perturbation" at the Translational Research on Aging & Metabolism (TRAM) meeting on Monday, February 29, 2016 3-5pm Rebecca Sealy 6.100. Read more about the Rehabilitation Sciences Postdoctoral Program.

Doug Paddon-Jones, PhD at Sci CafeFebruary 25, 2016: Dr. Paddon-Jones gives Sci Cafe presentation on Muscle Health

Join the discussion at SCI Cafe: "Protecting Muscle Health: Nutrition & Exercise Strategies" on Thursday, February 25 , 2016 at 5:30pm, Mod Coffeehouse in downtown Galveston, with Douglas Paddon-Jones, PhD, Professor, Department of Nutrition & Metabolism and Research Lab Director at CeRPAN, with Glenda E. Blaskey, MS, RD, CSSD, LD Research Dietitian Institute for Translational Sciences. For more information contact: Lauren Scott lescott@utmb.edu

Rodney Welsh, PhDFebruary 24, 2016: Dissertation Defense by Rehab Sciences Doctoral Student Rodney Welsh

On February 24th Rodney Welsh presented his dissertation entitled, "Examination of discharge settings and readmission rates following hospitalization for Total Knee Arthroplasty". Rodney's background is in physical & occupational therapy and he studied rehospitalization of patients following lower extremity joint replacement under the mentorship of Rehab Sciences Associate Professor James Graham, PhD. Read more about the Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Program.

Ken Ottenbacher, PhD, OTRFebruary, 2016: Congratulations to Dr. Ottenbacher on New Grant

Grant# R01 MD-010355 Long-term Health Outcomes in Mexican American Older Adults
Role: Principal Investigator
Source: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health, DHHS )
Period: 2016-2020

The research involves the Hispanic EPESE and Medicare claims data and is focused on frailty and health related outcomes in older Mexican Americans. These outcomes will be tracked over 20 years of Hispanic EPESE data collection. Linking the Hispanic EPESE data to the Medicare claims files will allow us to examine outcomes, service delivery, and healthcare cost in this important underserved population.

Ken Ottenbacher, PhD, OTRFebruary, 2016: Congratulations to Dr. Ottenbacher on Appointment to IOM Committee

K. Ottenbacher, Director of the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences, has been appointed to an Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee that will produce a report titled, "Use of Assistive Devices in Eliminating or Reducing the Effects of Impairments." The report is commissioned by the Social Security Administration and is scheduled for publication by the National Academies Press in late 2017.

Event Highlights
May 25-26, 2016: NIH Conference, "Rehabilitation Research at NIH: Moving the Field Forward"
Past Events »