The Office of Research Administration (ORA) strives to be true to its mission of providing outstanding service to the faculty and staff in their pursuit and administration of external funding. ORA provides full service throughout the lifecycle of a project, from preliminary budget review to award closeout. ORA is an advocate for the value of research in a hospital setting. To enhance the vitality of campus-based research and encourage its wider benefit, ORA promotes research partnerships with schools and other nonprofit institutions, large and small business, foundations and individual sponsors, and governmental agencies. ORA develops, reviews, and implements policies concerning research.
ORA administers all externally sponsored contracts and grants of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. It facilitates proposal submission, award negotiation, and research administration. It serves as the liaison for all other Partners departments including but not limited to Partners Research Management, Partners Office of the General Counsel, and Partners Corporate Sponsored Clinical Research and Partners Healthcare Innovation Office. ORA promotes research development, provide information about funding opportunities and assist the Spaulding research community in proposal preparation and award management.
For more information about Spaulding research and the Office of Research Administration, please visit our web site at: www.spauldingrehab.org.
Research at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital (SRH) focuses on several areas of rehabilitative medicine including: aging, autism, adaptive medicine, cardiovascular medicine, integrative medicine, motion analysis, muscle cell physiology, pain management, robotic therapy, spinal cord injury, stroke, and traumatic brain injury. Below is a brief summary of some of the research currently being conducted at Spaulding in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R)
Dr. Ross Zafonte is the Vice President of Medical Affairs for the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network and the Earle P. and Ida S. Charlton Chairman of the department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Zafonte is a leading expert on brain injury and has been published extensively on traumatic brain injury and other neurological disorders. He is an editor of the seminal textbook: Brain Injury Medicine. Dr. Zafonte is participating as the Principal Investigator in the TBI/PTSD national consortium and the Principal Site Investigator in a multicenter trial funded by NIDRR to look at the effect of an FDA approved medication on irritability and aggression in the TBI population. He is passionate about raising awareness and expanding the knowledge base of brain injury to improve outcomes and quality of life for the patient, family and community.
Research Interests: Novel uses of pharmacologic interventions to improve outcomes for the minimally conscious and vegetative populations, and to decrease irritability and aggression and insomnia in the mild TBI population. Development of MRI imaging techniques to precisely identify the area of the brain impacted by the traumatic injury. Use of non-pharmacological tools to stimulate the regeneration of neurons. Collaborating with the Department of Defense in the development of treatment paradigms for the returning veteran population effected by TBI and PTSD.
Dr. Bean's research is focused upon developing a rehabilitation-based disability prevention strategy for older adults. His work addresses both the identification of modifiable impairments which underlie mobility decline among older adult; and the development of rehabilitative interventions to ameliorate and prevent mobility related disability. He has received career development awards from both the American Geriatrics Society and the National Institute on Aging. His work is funded by the NIH and private foundations. Dr. Bean is the director of Research Education and Training for the Department of PM&R.
Research interests: Geriatric PM&R, exercise physiology, and musculoskeletal medicine.
Dr. Paolo Bonato is the Director of the Motion Analysis Laboratory (MAL) at Spaulding. His projects are currently supported by NIH, NSF, DOD, and Private Foundations. He is developing techniques to overcome the challenges inherent in combining traditional, laboratory-based assessments with real-life observations performed via wearable technology in the home and community settings. Projects carried out by Dr Bonato's team range from assessing the biomechanical effects of new prosthetic designs to facilitating the titration of medications in patients with late stage Parkinson's disease via home monitoring of the severity of symptoms and motor complications. Dr Bonato is also working on the design and application of new robotic devices for rehabilitation. His team is conducting research on robotic gait training in children with cerebral palsy, on robotic systems for upper extremity training in stroke and traumatic brain injury survivors, and on combining robotics with non-invasive brain stimulation techniques (in collaboration with Dr Felipe Fregni) to increase motor gains compared to traditional interventions.
Research interests: Wearable technology, rehabilitation technology, biomechanics of movement, electromyography.
Dr. Davis previously served as a Professor in Physical Therapy and Director of the Running Research Lab at the University of Delaware, where she was recently honored with a Professor Emeritus appointment. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Davis has established relationships between faulty mechanics and overuse injuries such as tibial stress fractures and patellofemoral disorders. This has led to the development of innovative interventions such as gait retraining, aimed at altering faulty running mechanics. The Spaulding National Running Center, being established by Dr. Davis, will be based at the Spaulding Hospital Cambridge campus. Comprised of a running injury clinic and running research lab, it will focus on the treatment and prevention of running-related, musculoskeletal injuries.
Research Interests: Running Injuries, musculoskeletal injuries, injury prevention.
Dr. Felipe Fregni is the Director for the Laboratory of Neuromodulation at Spaulding and an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Harvard Medical School. His current projects are focused on mobility impairments and chronic pain. The focus of his research has largely been centered upon developing methods of non-invasive brain stimulation such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) as potential treatment tools for certain neurological and psychiatric disorders. He is also interested in investigating the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects of neuromodulatory tools in neuropsychiatric disorders using quantitative EEG, transcranial magnetic stimulation and neuroimaging. Finally, Dr. Fregni has a large CME course on methodology in clinical research and is also interested in developing new methodological approaches for medical device trials.
Research interests: noninvasive brain stimulation, motor rehabilitation for victims of stroke and Parkinson's disease, pain reduction in patients with chronic pain, clinical research methodology, medical device trials, mechanisms of action.
Dr. Joseph T. Giacino is the Director of Rehabilitation Neuropsychology at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and has a joint appointment as a Consulting Neuropsychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Giacino's clinical and research activities are centered on the development and application of novel assessment and treatment methods for individuals with severe acquired brain injury (ABI) and disorders of consciousness (DOC). He served as co-chair of the Aspen Workgroup (responsible for developing the diagnostic criteria for MCS) and was co-lead author of the Mohonk Report, a Congressionally-sponsored initiative to establish recommendations for lifelong care of patients with DOC. He currently chairs the VS/MCS Guideline Development Panel of the American Academy of Neurology which is responsible for revising existing guidelines for management of patients with DOC. He is principle investigator on a project funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) to develop novel fMRI paradigms to assess the integrity of language and visual processing networks in patients with DOC and serves as Project Director of a 12-site clinical trial of amantadine hydrochloride (AH) funded through NIDRR's Collaborative Projects award mechanism to determine whether AH facilitates functional recovery in patients with prolonged disturbances in consciousness. He also served as Co-PI of an FDA-approved pilot study of deep brain stimulation aimed at promoting recovery of speech and motor functions in patients with chronic post-traumatic MCS.
After 18 years in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia, Dr. Grant Iverson recently joined the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard. Dr. Iverson is one of the most respected experts in the area of outcome from mild traumatic brain injury in athletes, civilians, service members, and veterans. The interest in connecting with these populations in a unique setting is what drew Dr. Iverson to Boston to become the Associate Director of Traumatic Brain Injury Research for the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program. He is a leading proponent of a broad based biopsychosocial theory of good and poor outcomes following mild neurotrauma.
Dr. Mel Glenn is the Director of the Spaulding/Partners longitudinal follow-up center for the Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems (TBIMS). The longitudinal follow-up program is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) through a contract with the National Data and Statistical Center (NDSC) at Craig Hospital in Colorado. By continuing to do follow-up interviews on participants previously enrolled in the database by Spaulding, we support a national database of patients with traumatic brain injury that is used to conduct research on all aspects of care. Dr. Glenn is PI on one such multicenter study: "Outcome of combined traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury."
Dr. Morse is a graduate of the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her residency in PMR at Boston Medical Center. She is currently an instructor in the department of PMR and her research is focused on understanding the impact of spinal cord injury on bone. Her long term goal is to develop therapies to stop ongoing bone loss and decrease fracture rates in this population. She currently studies osteoporosis in humans with chronic spinal cord injury to gain a better understanding of the factors associated with osteoporosis severity, to define the nature history of SCI-induced osteoporosis, and to improve fracture risk assessment. She recently received a Spinal Cord Model Systems grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.
Research Interests: Identifying the specific mechanisms that trigger osteoclast activity leading to bone resorption that occurs immediately following damage to the spinal cord. She believes that identification of the pathway leading to bone loss will lead to new therapeutic targets and expand treatment options for osteoporosis triggered by neurological injury.
Dr. Schneider is the Medical Director of the Trauma, Burn and Orthopedic Program. His research focuses on long-term outcomes after burn injury. He is currently working on the "Development and Feasibility Assessment of a Novel Gaming System for Children with Upper Extremity Burn Contractures." This research is supported by Harvard Catalyst | The Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center. This research is in collaboration with the Motion Analysis Laboratory at Spaulding and Shriners Hospital for Children – Boston. Dr. Schneider is also involved in a project examining the efficacy of burn rehabilitation using a national data base from Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation.
Research interests: Efficacy of burn rehabilitation, Burn outcomes, Burn rehabilitation technology.
Dr. Taylor is the Director for the Cardiovascular Research Laboratory at SRH which is focused on the study of changes in cardiovascular function associated with healthy aging and age-related diseases. Current projects, including several that are NIH funded, investigate the mechanisms of these changes as well as interventions such as exercise, statin treatment, and reducing oxidative stress to prevent or overcome cardiovascular declines associated with coronary artery disease, heart failure, and stroke. These projects employ a variety of state-of-the-art techniques, including micromeurography, Doppler ultrasound, Ultrasonography, signal processing, exercise testing and indirect calorimetry to assess aerobic fitness, and a variety of mathematical and statistical analyses to model and assess cardiovascular regulation.
Current research interests are control of cerebral blood flow in health and disease, specifically TBI; the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal effects of exercise training via hybrid FES-rowing in SCI; the cardiovascular effects of sleep apnea; the cardiovascular/autonomic benefits of yogic breathing; the physiologic transduction of sympathetic outflow in regional vascular resistance in humans
Dr. Wang has a strong desire to pursue a career in academic rehabilitation medicine with a focus on research. Her specific research focus is to investigate the mechanisms of stroke recovery. She obtained a PhD in the field of molecular and cell biology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDN). This work led to 12 publications in peer-reviewed journals. After she completed residency, she successfully obtained NIH-K12 award to study mechanism of stroke recovery. She has one published paper, two submitted manuscripts, and three manuscripts in preparation. She has learned the techniques necessary to conduct the research in stroke recovery, including the microscopic surgery to generate middle cerebral artery occlusion, animal behavior studies, and immunochemistry studies. Her work has been presented at national meetings and was awarded with the Electrode Store Best Paper at the annual AAP meeting and the manuscript has been submitted for publication.
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