OUR RESEARCH MISSION

The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, along with its Center for Rehabilitation Sciences Research (CRSR), further the military healthcare system’s prominence in rehabilitative care with a special focus on service members with combat related injuries, particularly those with orthopaedic trauma, limb loss, and neurological complications.

Beginning in FY13, $500K in supplemental annual funding was given to USU under the Independent Lab Independent Research (ILIR) Program to support basic and translational rehabilitative medicine research to better understand the underlying anatomical, physiological, and neuroscience mechanisms in order to guide optimal rehabilitative treatment strategies. The ultimate goal of this research is to support the successful return to duty and community reintegration of injured service members.

Our research areas include the application of novel technologies in robotics, regenerative medicine, and basic sciences in order to improve muscle, bone, nerve, and soft-tissue functioning in the rehabilitation of injured service members with extremity trauma, amputation, and neurological injuries. Advanced study of biomechanics, anatomy, and physiology will influence the optimal use of prosthetics, orthotics, and other rehabilitation tools as well as more effective treatment strategies for axial spine conditions such as neck and back injury. By exploring novel human biomarkers (biomechanical, serum, imaging, or physiologic), we hope to identify short and long-term health risks of service members with limb loss and neurologic injury and eventually lead to more effective treatment and preventative strategies. In the future, we envision conducting novel research to intersect physical rehabilitation with regenerative medicine to promote the successful integration of regenerative tissues (muscle, tendon, nerve, etc.) to optimize functional recovery after injury or disease.

 

A Legacy of Research

CENTER FOR REHABILITATION SCIENCES RESEARCH

Through our work with the Center for Rehabilitation Sciences Research (CRSR), our department is focused on advancing the rehabilitative care for service members with combat-related injuries, particularly those with orthopedic trauma, limb loss and neurological complications.  Our goal is to support synergistic research projects to optimize treatment strategies and promote the successful return to duty and community reintegration of injured service members while providing a unique platform for fostering innovative research and incorporating clinical and technical advances in the rehabilitative care for service members.

Learn more about CRSR >

MUSCULOSKELETAL INJURY rehabilitation RESEARCH for operational readiness 

The MIRROR program delivers high value research, education, training, and infrastructure for over 40 clinically relevant musculoskeletal injury (MSI) studies within the Military Health System (MHS). MIRROR supports a broad scope of projects, including epidemiological investigation, investigator-initiated pilots, and prospective randomized multisite clinical trials. Areas of clinical evaluation comprise general MSI care process models and highly prevalent anatomically-specific (e.g. back, knee, shoulder pain, etc.) targeted interventions with protocols examining effective return-to-duty activities. Results of these studies generate evidence-based approaches for future clinical practice guidelines as well as educational opportunities for future military and civilian providers. 

Learn more about MIRROR >

INDEPENDENT LAB INDEPENDENT RESEARCH PROGRAM

Beginning in FY13, $500K in supplemental annual funding was given to USU under the Independent Lab Independent Research (ILIR) Program to support basic and translational rehabilitative medicine research to better understand the underlying anatomical, physiological, and neuroscience mechanisms in order to guide optimal rehabilitative treatment strategies. The ultimate goal of this research is to support the successful return to duty and community reintegration of injured service members.

Our research areas include the application of novel technologies in robotics, regenerative medicine, and basic sciences in order to improve muscle, bone, nerve, and soft-tissue functioning in the rehabilitation of injured service members with extremity trauma, amputation, and neurological injuries. Advanced study of biomechanics, anatomy, and physiology will influence the optimal use of prosthetics, orthotics, and other rehabilitation tools as well as more effective treatment strategies for axial spine conditions such as neck and back injury. By exploring novel human biomarkers (biomechanical, serum, imaging, or physiologic), we hope to identify short and long-term health risks of service members with limb loss and neurologic injury and eventually lead to more effective treatment and preventative strategies. In the future, we envision conducting novel research to intersect physical rehabilitation with regenerative medicine to promote the successful integration of regenerative tissues (muscle, tendon, nerve, etc.) to optimize functional recovery after injury or disease.