x=ray image of human running with abstract scientific background and Center for Recovery, Physical Activity and Nutrition Logo

Welcome to the Center for Recovery, Physical Activity & Nutrition (CeRPAN) Formerly the Center for Rehabilitation Sciences

The Center for Recovery, Physical Activity and Nutrition, in the School of Health Professions, is committed to creating relationships among basic and clinical scientists to translate and apply research findings for the benefit of persons with disability or chronic disease and their families. Originally established in 2001 as the Center for Rehabilitation Sciences to provide an infrastructure for research in disability, recovery, and rehabilitation at UTMB, the mission and focus of the Center were expanded in 2013 to integrate research involving physical activity, exercise, function and nutrition to provide new opportunities for education and scientific training.

Read more about research at CeRPAN. See Facts & Figures about the Center.

News & Announcements

Microscopic Photography

Artistic Presentations Chosen by the Scientific Merit and Diversity of Study

SCoA | January 26, 2018

photo of Dr. Fry

Congratulations to research investigator Christopher Fry, PhD for his winning microscope image. Dr. Fry's image displays primary mouse fibroblasts isolated from skeletal muscle.

The contest was held by Vector Laboratories and each winner received a canvas depicting their work as art.

New Appointment

Congratulations, Dr. Tim Reistetter!

SCoA | December 13, 2017

photo of Dr. Reistetter

Tim Reistetter, PhD, OTR, FAOTA has been appointed the Grace Bucksch Gnitzinger Distinguished Professorship in Aging.

New Approach for Recovery

UTMB to study new approach for hip fracture recovery

Texas Medical Center News | November 2, 2017

photo of Dr. Volpi

A multimillion dollar grant could help researchers develop a novel therapeutic for elderly women recovering from hip fractures. UTMB’s Elena Volpi is one of seven principal investigators and part of a consortium of seven universities that received $15.6 million from the National Institute on Aging for the research project. Story also found at Press Release Point and Publicnow.

Journal of Physiology

The Journal of Physiology

Journal of Physiology | November 1, 2017

photo of cover image and Dr. Fry

CeRPAN Research Investigator Christopher Fry, PhD provided the cover photo for the November issue of the Journal of Physiology, “Scald-burn injury induces myonuclear apoptosis in murine skeletal muscle, with the immunohistochemical image showing dystrophin (red), Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL; green) and DAPI (blue). See Finnerty et al. pp 6687– 6701.”

Too Much Protein?

Can you eat too much protein?

Men's Health | November 1, 2017

photo of Dr. Paddon-Jones

While protein is important to build and maintain muscle, can you eat too much protein? This article cites research conducted by UTMB’s Doug Paddon-Jones that found that people who ate 12 ounces of beef, did not experience any greater benefits than those who ate four ounces of beef. This story can also be found at NewsDog and Pulse.

Empty Stomach Workout?

Is it bad to exercise on an empty stomach?

TIME | October 19, 2017

photo of Dr. Paddon-Jones

In this fitness column, the issue of working out on an empty stomach is addressed. “You might feel tired or edgy and you won’t be able to work out as intensely as you would have if you had eaten something,” said UTMB’s Douglas Paddon-Jones. Story also published in True Viral News.

MoTrPAC in NIH Project

The Exercise Antidote UTMB Collaborates with Institutions Across the U.S. to Study How Physical Activity Benefits the Body

UTMB Academic Enterprise | PDF | Summer 2017

Academic Enterprise photo

UTMB recently receives a $6.6 million grant to participate in a national project, the Molecular Tranducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC), which aims to better understand how physical activity improves health. Research will be conducted at 23 collaborating institutions, with an overall goal of recruiting approximately 3,000 participants in the clinical trial. MoTrPAC is the first study of it's kind, says Dr. Rasmussen: "It's never been examined on such a large scope."

Read the full article: The Exercise Antidote published in the UTMB Academic Enterprise.

Foods for the Muscle Bound

Dr. Rasmussen and Paddon-Jones on Combating Aging and Muscle Loss

Foods for the muscle bound - Prepared Foods | July 20, 2017

miscroscopic image of muscle fiber

As people age, muscle mass decreases, a process termed sarcopenia. This can make life more difficult and can increase one's risk of falling a major cause of disability. Several things contribute to sarcopenia but inadequate protein or calorie intake is a major factor. UTMB's Blake Rasmussen and Doug Paddon-Jones are contributors discussing the importance of nutrition and the need for more research.


Dr. Reistetter on Stroke

Dr. Reistetter Presents Keynote on Stroke in Istanbul

CeRPAN News | June 14, 2017

Tim Reistetter, PhD, OTR

Tim Reistetter, PhD, OTR, Core Research Investigator at CeRPAN and Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy at UTMB, presented the keynote address, "Client-Centered Perspectives on Return to Work Following Stroke" at the International Closing Conference "Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation" May 31-June 2, 2017 in Istanbul.


GBIC & Moody Prize

Galveston Brain Injury Conference 2017 Robert L. Moody Prize: Dr. Giacino

CeRPAN News | May 25, 2017

Joseph T. Giacino, PhD with Dean Protas, UTMB

Joseph T. Giacino, PhD received the Robert L. Moody Prize for Distinguished Initiatives in Brain Injury Research and Rehabilitation at the 17th Annual Galveston Brain Injury Conference May 4 & 5. The GBIC is sponsored by the Transitional Learning Center in Galveston and CeRPAN.


MoTrPAC Preview Day

MoTrPAC-UTACC Preview Day

CeRPAN News | May 16, 2017

UTACC-MoTrPAC Preview Day 2017

The Center for Recovery, Physical Activity and Nutrition hosted visitors from the University of Texas, San Antonio on May 15th, 2017.

Principal Investigator and CeRPAN Associate Director, Blake Rasmussen, PhD, gave a presentation about the the University of Texas Adult Clinical Center (UTACC) for the Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC) and visitors toured the lab facilities in the School of Health Professions at UTMB. Download agenda and view photos of the event.


Halos and Horns of Nutrition

The Halos and Horns of the Nutrition Dilemma

Galveston Daily News | April 18, 2017

Jean Gutierrez, PhD, RD

Recommendations on what food is good for you and what is bad can be confusing and can flip back and forth. UTMB’s Jean Gutierrez, Core Research Investigator at CeRPAN and Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Metabolism, told The Daily News that it can be frustrating for those trying to eat a healthy diet. Gutierrez said the key to healthy eating is variety, moderation and eating fresh as opposed to processed food.


New Investigator Award

2017 New Investigator Award from the APS

CeRPAN News | April 24, 2017

Chris Fry, PhD, New Investigator Award

Chris Fry, PhD, CeRPAN Core Research Investigator and Assistant Professor in Nutrition & Metabolism at UTMB received, "The American Physiological Society Environmental and Exercise Physiology New Investigator Award" during the Experimental Biology Meeting April 22-26, 2017.



Ottenbacher OT Centennial

Dr. Ottenbacher - 1 of 100 Most Influential People

CeRPAN News | February 14, 2017

photo of Dr. Ottenbacher introducing speaker in front of an audience

Congratulations - CeRPAN Director Dr. Ottenbacher has been selected as one of the 100 influential people in occupational therapy's first 100 years by the American Occupational Therapy Association as a part of their centennial celebration.

"Kenneth J. Ottenbacher, PhD, OTR, has significantly advanced the science of occupational therapy. His research focus is rehabilitation outcomes, with an emphasis on the assessment of change in functional status, disability, frailty, and minority health in older adults."