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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

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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.


GSBS Commencement: Congratulations to Rehabilitation Sciences Grads

Monica Watford, James Graham and Rodney Welsh, UTMB Rehabilitation SciencesPictured left to right: Monica Watford, James Graham (PhD Program Director) and Rodney Welch.

May 20, 2016: Five Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Program students were honored at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Commencement.

Congratulations to the following graduates: Michael Borak, Maria Chondronikola, Aaron Gray, Monica Watford* and Rodney Welsh.

*Degree conferred end of summer term.

Congratulations to Postdoctoral Trainee Ted Graber on Recent Awards

Ted Graber working in the lab

Rehab Sciences Postdoctoral Trainee
Ted Graber, PhD has earned the following awards:

  1. UTMB Clinical and Translational Science Award: NRSA (National Research Service Award) Fellowship funded by NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) UL1TL1TR001440 (Hellmich, PI)
  2. American Society for Nutrition's Energy and Macronutrient Metabolism Research Interest Section (EMM RIS) Travel Award
  3. 2016 Team Science Award for outstanding achievement in the Bench Tutorials Symposium

Inside UTMB-Hammond wins Moody Prize

May 17, 2016: UTMB Newsroom and Galveston Daily News

Dr. Flora Hammond, professor and chair of the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Indiana University School of Medicine, is this year's winner of the Robert L. Moody Prize for Distinguished Initiatives in Brain Injury Research and Rehabilitation. Hammond, who also is the chief of medical affairs and medical director at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana, received a $10,000 honorarium with the prize which was presented during the recent annual Galveston Brain Injury Conference at Moody Gardens in Galveston. The Moody Prize, which recognizes significant contributions in brain injury rehabilitation and research, is presented annually by the division of rehabilitation sciences in the University of Texas Medical Branch School of Health Professions and The Transitional Learning Center of Galveston.

UTMB Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Program Accreditation

Ken Ottenbacher, PhD, OTR May 10, 2016: The Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Program recently received accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). The CEPH is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools of public health and public health programs outside schools of public health.

April 2016: Dr. Ottenbacher Receives ACRM Golden Key Award

Ken Ottenbacher, PhD, OTR Congratulations to Dr. Ottenbacher, 2016 ACRM Golden Key Award recipient. This award was established in 1932 as a certificate of merit for members of the medical and allied professions who have rendered extraordinary service to the cause of rehabilitation. Candidates are nominated by members of the ACRM Board of Governors and the recipient chosen by a Nominating Committee vote. It is the highest honor given by ACRM. Read More at the ACRM website.

April 2016: Congratulations to Dr. Karmarkar on New Grant

Amol Karmarkar, PhDAmol Karmarkar, PhD, Associate Professor in the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences, has received a new grant, Comparing Access and Effectiveness of Post-Acute Care Settings among Medicare Beneficiaries (K01 HD086290) for time period: 04/15/2016 - 03/31/2021. Congratulations Amol!


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.

Testosterone therapy decreases hospital readmissions in older men with low testosterone

Jacques Baillargeon, PhD April 14, 2016: Science Newsline
A new large-scale population based study from UTMB's Jacques Baillargeon finds that older men using testosterone therapy were less likely to have complications that require them to go back to the hospital within a month of being discharged than men not using this therapy. This research news also reported in Health Canal, Medical News Today, Today Topics, Science Daily, Science Codex and Medical Xpress.

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

Click to view photos of the workshop.

A workshop titled, "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: 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 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.