Interdisciplinary Graduate Education in Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences

Project: Research project

Project Details


The goal of this training program is to seek continued support of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Education in Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences (IGE-MRS) program, created at Northwestern University between the departments of Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering and the department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences. The mission of the IGE-MRS program is to expose engineering students to a graduate education that combines engineering, neurobiology and physical therapy and human movement sciences coursework along with the associated research experiences through a DPT (Doctor in Physical Therapy) - PhD (Engineering) dual degree. The IGE-MRS program is the first program of its kind in the US to combine solid training in fundamental neurobiology and clinical physical therapy with a solid education in engineering. This interdisciplinary training allows for the development of the scientific basis required for understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying movement disorders and for designing effective rehabilitation interventions and devices. The program mentors have successful science careers as engineers, neuroscientists and clinicians, and represent a broad range of expertise relevant to movement and rehabilitation science and physical therapy. Northwestern University has a long and recognized history in the study of motor control, motor disability and recovery, and neural reorganization. Extensive research is performed in these areas at various levels, from basic animal and human studies focused on the control of movement and movement disorders, to the development of novel rehabilitation interventions and devices that address these movement disorders. Areas of research represented in participating labs fall loosely into three main areas: neurobiology of movement behavior and disorders, rehabilitation device and interface development, and musculoskeletal pathophysiology and modeling. The breadth and depth of movement and rehabilitation research at Northwestern provides a robust translational environment for our IGE-MRS trainees. In this renewal application, we seek to continue to build our program based on past experience and increase our impact through enhancements designed to recruit and enroll a more diverse trainee pool, expand representation of a greater number of laboratories and research areas especially in Mechanical Engineering, and strengthen the career development opportunities that facilitate the transition from clinical to research training and beyond into independent clinician scientists. Through these innovations and the continuation of successful practices already in place, we fully expect to continue advancing the science and practice of movement and rehabilitation science by training the next generation of DPT-PhDs in Engineering. We intend to support a total of 6 DPT-PhD students per year and up to one affiliate trainee per year during this competitive renewal. The T32 grant will provide support for a total of two years per trainee during their PhD training. Northwestern will support the first year of PhD training, supplement tuition and stipend during the two years of NIH support, and then fully support the entirety of the DPT training of this unique training program.
Effective start/end date7/1/216/30/26


  • National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (2T32EB009406-11)


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