Research Training in Sensorimotor Neurorehabilitation

Project: Research project

Project Details


The goal of this proposal is to implement a novel Research Training in Sensorimotor Neurorehabilitation program to prepare the next generation of scientists that can address the growing need for neuroscience-based rehabilitation solutions. Northwestern University has a long and recognized history in the study of motor control, motor disability and recovery, and neural reorganization; and in training the next generation of movement and rehabilitation scientists (MRS) through the Northwestern University Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program (NUIN) PhD program since 2009, with demonstrated success reflected in more than 20 graduates currently leading successful research careers in academia and industry. The proposed program is built on this research and training record with the mission to train students with clinical and life/applied science backgrounds and post-doctoral fellows with clinical backgrounds to become rehabilitation scientists in basic, translational or clinical research. These scientists will have the ability to integrate knowledge from the various disciplines involved in sensorimotor neurorehabilitation, including neuroscience, engineering and clinical sciences. The training program will focus on four training goals: 1) to provide a thorough grounding in the basic neurobiology of sensorimotor function and control, including translation of insights between animal and human research models; 2) to learn fundamental engineering experimental methods for measurement and analysis of neuronal and musculoskeletal sensory and motor function; 3) to facilitate knowledge sharing in the clinical management of individuals with movement disorders between the post-doctoral and pre-doctoral trainees; and 4) to provide professional development training to support future rehabilitation research career success. The unique structure of the program, couples training of post-doctoral trainees with clinical expertise with pre-doctoral trainees focusing on neuroscience. The program is the first of its kind to provide post-doctoral research training of Doctors of Physical Therapy (DPT), an untapped cohort of prospective scientists that has emerged in the contemporary age of science-based medicine and evidence-based practice. These DPT candidates for post-doctoral slots will be drawn from research intensive Physical Therapy Programs across the United States. Pre-doctoral trainees will be drawn from the NUIN-MRS program. The translational interdisciplinary nature of the program will allow close interaction between clinical investigators and basic and applied sciences investigators, providing a unique opportunity for training in translational research. We intend to support a total of 12 pre-doctoral trainees and 5 post-doctoral trainees with NIH funding for up to two years each. Additional institutional support is available in the form of tuition and stipend supplements for trainees and diversity fellowships to support diversity recruiting efforts.
Effective start/end date5/1/214/30/26


  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (5T32HD101395-02)


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