Aerial view of UTMB campus in Galveston, Texas
The University of Texas Medical Branch, located on Galveston Island, is the oldest medical school and health sciences campus in Texas.


Rehabilitation Sciences typography graphic - Career Development, Research, PhD, Postdoc, Physical Activity, Recovery, Disability, DataThe field of Rehabilitation Science encompasses basic and applied aspects of the health sciences, social science and engineering as they relate to restoring human functional capacity and improving a person's interactions with the surrounding environment.

Established in 2001, the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences at UTMB developed an infrastructure to support research related to rehabilitation, disability and recovery. Programs include a respected PhD program, career training and development, funding opportunities for PhD students and postdoctoral fellows, and infrastructure for large data research and data sharing.

Facts & Figures

There are 9 students currently enrolled in the Rehabilitation Sciences PhD program and 5 fellows completing postdoctoral training. To date, 31 PhD degrees have been conferred and 37 fellows have completed postdoctoral training. Students and Postdoctoral Trainees have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of research activities in Rehabilitation Sciences through our programs.


UTMB's Sealy Center on Aging
Sealy Center on Aging Presents Annual Winter Series

Rehab Sciences  01/31/17 - 02/28/17

UTMB's Sealy Center on Aging presents the 22nd Lefeber Winter Series on Aging.

The Lefeber Winter Series on Aging, now in its 22nd year, features nationally recognized gerontology research educators, basic scientists, clinicians and social scientists. The five week lecture series begins Tuesday, January 31 with a presentation entitled, "Modernizing Survey Measures of Late-Life Disability," presented by Alan Jette, PT, MPH, PhD, Director, Health and Disability Research, Professor of Health and Management, University of Boston.

More about the Lefeber Winter Series at the Sealy Center on Aging.

Jessica Jarvis, BM
Dissertation Defense & Scholar Award: Jessica Jarvis

Rehab Sciences  01/10/17

On February 9, 2017 Jessica Jarvis will defend her dissertation, "Influences of cohort differences and positive emotion on the relationship between cognition and disability in activities of daily living among older Mexican Americans" for the degree Doctor of Philosophy in the Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Program.

Recently, Jessica Jarvis was awarded the Jeane B. Kempner Scholar award for 2016-2017 based on her application entitled, "Examining Variables that Effect Incident Disability in Older Mexican Americans."

Liz Lyons, PhD, MPH and Jean L. Gutierrez, PhD, RD
The secret to weight loss is no secret

Galv Daily News  01/02/17

A new year means many people will be hitting the gym looking to trim a few pounds. UTMB's Jean Gutierrez and Elizabeth Lyons were quoted in a story on exercise and weight loss in The Daily News. "Very small changes can have a very large impact on your health," Lyons said according to The Daily News.

Liz Lyons, PhD, MPH
A smorgasbord of eating plans: What you should know about the latest diets

Galv Daily News  12/31/16

UTMB's Elizabeth Lyons was quoted in a Daily News story exploring different types of eating plans. "A plant-based diet on the whole is recognized as the best way to fuel the human body," Lyons told The Daily News.

Addie Middleton, PhD, PT
Dr. Middleton Honored for Paper

Rehab Sciences  12/19/16

Rehab Sciences faculty member Addie Middleton, PhD, PT received an Honorable Mention Award for best paper (AAP Excellence in Research Writing Award), titled "Program Interruptions and Short-Stay Transfers Represent Potential Targets for Inpatient Rehabilitation Care-Improvement Efforts." The award recognizes the lead authors of the best papers published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (AJPM&R) each year.

Blake Rasmussen, PhD
New Grant Awarded to UTMB and UTHSC San Antonio

Rehab Sciences  12/14/16

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has received a $6.6 million grant to take part in a national project that will analyze what molecular changes occur in people as a result of physical activity. The research could lead to people engaging in more targeted and optimized types of physical activity.

UTMB will be a part of the Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium and Blake Rasmussen, professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition and Metabolism, will be the principal investigator.

This news also reported in Public Now, Genome Web, Targeted News Service and

Old Red at UTMB
GSBS Awards

Rehab Sciences  12/08/16

Congratulations to Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Award Winners:

  • Former students, Maria Chondronikola, PhD and Paul Reidy, PhD both received the Jeane Kempner Scholar Award.
  • Tony Chang, PhD received the Edith and Robert Zinn Presidential Scholarship.
  • Ioannis Malagaris received the Eleanor Dupree Otis Biostatistics Scholarship.
  • Catherine Hay received the Emily E. Dupree Endowed Award for Excellence in Rehabilitation Science Scholarship.
  • Both Zakkoyya Lewis-Powell, PhD and Catherinee Hay received the Peyton and Lydia Schapper Endowed Scholarship in the School of Allied Health Sciences.
  • Julianna Bores received the Stephen C. Silverthorne Memorial Award Scholarhip.
  • Zakkoyya Lewis-Powell and former student, Amit Kumar, PhD where named 2016 Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

Koyya Lewis, BS
Dissertation Defense: Koyya Lewis

Rehab Sciences  12/02/16

On December 2, 2016 Koyya Lewis successfully defended her dissertation, "TAME Health: Testing Activity Monitors' Effect on Health" for the degree Doctor of Philosophy in the Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Program.

CLDR graphic & link to website
Data Archiving Webinar Recordings

Rehab Sciences  12/01/16

Data Sharing & Archiving process graphic and link to data sharing page at the CLDR website

Two webinars by CLDR consortium partner ICPSR about the Archive of Data on Disability to Enable Policy and research (ADDEP) are now available to watch online:

Authors Catherine Hay (left) and Koyya Lewis (right, lead author)
Are Friends and Family the Best 'Medicine?'

Galv Daily News  11/21/16

Rehabilitation Sciences PhD students Koyya Lewis, Catherine Hay and others published a study that found patients with strong social support from family and friends spend less time in inpatient rehabilitation facilities. "A positive outlook or attitude, which we often label as "positive affect" in our research, is tied to better outcomes and overall health," Hay said. Read More.

This manuscript, "Social Support and Actual Versus Expected Length of Stay in Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities," is featured on the cover of the December 2016 issue of the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.


CeRPAN logo: Click to visit the Center for Recovery, Physical Activity and Nutrition website

CLDR Logo: Click to visit the website for the Center for Large Data Research & Data Sharing in Rehabilitation website

RRCD Logo: Click to visit Rehabilitation Research Career Development Program website

Site managed by UTMB Rehabilitation Sciences • Last updated January 2017