Kessler Foundation wins $735,000 grant for training rehabilitation researchers

Guang Yue, PhD, director of Human Performance and Engineering Research at Kessler Foundation, has been awarded a $735,000 grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). This five-year grant funds an Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training (ARRT) Project in Rehabilitation Neuroscience and Engineering. The project aims to improve overall health and function of individuals with neuromuscular and musculoskeletal (NM-MSK) diseases and injuries by training doctoral-level researchers committed to advancing the field of rehabilitation.

"The need for rehabilitation scientists continues to grow, underscoring the increasing demand for postdoctoral research training programs," stated Dr. Yue. "Fellowship training at Kessler Foundation allows talented postdoctoral fellows to gain research experience while learning the skills necessary to pursue a career in a rehabilitation-related field. Our fellows complete at least one independent research project and two collaborative research projects studies, with access to the latest technologies, such as robotics, virtual reality, 3-D printing, and brain imaging. They have opportunities to present their findings to professional and consumer audiences, and submit papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Most importantly, they participate in writing extramural grant proposals, including their own grant applications," he emphasized.

In 2017, five aspiring researchers joined the postdoctoral fellowship training program at Kessler Foundation, which has launched the careers of many leaders in rehabilitation research. More than 30 former fellows conduct research in Europe, India, South America, and major universities in the U.S., as well as at Kessler Foundation. The impact of their training can be measured by their success in obtaining funding, and their many contributions to the field including publications, academic appointments, and subsequent leadership positions.

"By funding these fellowships, the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research supports the education of specially trained scientists who can conduct rigorous clinical studies aimed at improving the lives of people recovering from serious illnesses and injuries," said Steven Kirshblum, MD, chair of the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, senior medical officer of Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, and the Foundation's chief medical officer. "Kessler Foundation, in partnership with Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, provides the ideal environment for inspiring young professionals to pursue meaningful and productive careers in rehabilitation research."

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