Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training in Neurorehabilitation

A main focus of our training mission is to provide the strongest possible education for the early career development of neuroscience rehabilitation researchers in an educational environment that promotes strong interactions between basic and clinical research to develop effective interventions to promote functional recovery after CNS injuries, such as brain and spinal cord trauma, stroke.  

The long range goal of this training program is to prepare individuals with advanced rehabilitation related degrees (physicians: physiatrists, neurologists, neurosurgeons and PhD trained physical and occupational therapists) who will be in a position to define the mechanisms underlying recovery of function following CNS injury, to identify and implement methods to enhance that recovery, and to influence health policy to benefit individuals with disabilities.  This application brings together basic and clinician scientists at two outstanding institutions in Washington, DC (Georgetown University and the MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital (MedStar NRH)). 

The program is directed by Barbara S. Bregman, PT, PhD and Alexander Dromerick, MD. We have established an outstanding infrastructure to support rehabilitation research at Georgetown and MedStar NRH. A comprehensive training program aimed at recovery of function after CNS injury has been developed.  The Program co-Directors and Training Faculty are experienced mentors and researchers with both clinical and basic science experience in nervous system responses to CNS injury and recovery of function. 

We have developed didactic courses that provide a firm basis in all areas of neuroscience research, including the basic sciences, the clinical aspects of neurological disorders, clinical research methodology and cutting edge technologies.  While hands-on research experience in a high-quality laboratory setting remains the central component of our postdoctoral training, we also recognize the need for formal training in areas such as ethics and scientific communication, as well as personalized career mentoring to help each trainee develop specific skills that will enable them to succeed in their chosen career path. 

A key component of the Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training in Neurorehabilitation program is the integration of courses, workshops, and seminars covering such topics as scientific writing, grant preparation, teaching methodologies, scientific resources and technologies for neuroscience research, and ethics in science and research, with guidance in career opportunities.  Thus, not only are individuals in this program broadly trained in basic and clinical neuroscience research related to Recovery of Function after CNS injury, but they also acquire a command of the essential skills needed to flourish in science. 

We feel that this training approach greatly increases the odds that these young investigators will lead successful basic and clinical research careers in rehabilitation and make significant contributions in rehabilitation research and improve the quality of life for individuals with spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury and stroke.