Graduate Program Website Links
The interdisciplinary PhD program in rehabilitation science is offered through the College of Public health and Health Professions. It is designed to prepare rehabilitation scholars. Students are given the opportunity to develop skills in research, teaching service leadership, and interdisciplinary teamwork. In addition, students design their own specialty areas within the broad categories of movement dysfunction, social and behavioral integration, or communication neuroscience. Students participating in the neuromuscular plasticity training program participate in the advanced concentration movement dysfunction.
The goal of the IDP is to prepare students for a diverse number of careers in research and teaching in academic and commercial settings. The program provides a modern, comprehensive graduate education in biomedical sciences while providing both maximum program flexibility and appropriate specialization for advanced training. The IDP represents a cooperative effort of six interdisciplinary advanced concentrations with participation of over 300 faculty members.
The PhD program in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology focuses on the study of the anatomical, physiological, and psychological consequences to human movement and their relationship to health and disease.
Central to much of the research at the Health Science Center at the University of Florida is the Evelyn F. & William L. McKnight Brain Institute. The McKnight Brain Institute (MBI) is a university-wide initiative that was created to harness and enhance multi-disciplinary research, clinical care and educational skills in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diverse disorders of the nervous system; including Stroke, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury. The six story building opened in 1998, encompasses over 200,000 gross square feet and provides a wealth of laboratory (individual, shared, and core facilities), office and teaching space for UF-MBI faculty, staff, and students.
The PGTC Center, directed by Dr. Barry Byrne, was founded in 1996. Its primary mission is to merge molecular genetics research and health care delivery by developing new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of human diseases that involve gene transfer. The Center was selected by the NCRR as the site for production of the National Reference Standard Stock of AAV, to set the standard for the potency and purity of these key gene transfer reagents and to allow for greater sharing of data among various centers. The PGTC has been awarded grants from NHLBI, NIDDK, and NINDS to pursue gene therapy for diseases of the heart, lungs, liver, and muscle. The PGTC has pioneered several advances relevant to gene delivery including discovery of the unique life cycle of AAV; first use of AAV to deliver genes to cells in culture; first use of AAV in animals and humans; first use of AAV in models of muscle and heart disease; first use of AAV to reverse blindness in dogs with a genetic disease; active clinical trials in CF patients since 1996. Areas of particular expertise are Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Glycogen Storage Disease, and Spinal Cord Injury. Dr. Barry Byrne serves as the the Director of the PGTC Center and has extensive experience with clinical and translational research and is currently directing the first gene therapy trial in Pompe disease.
The mission of the IOA is to serve as the major catalyst for developing models and synergisms in the areas of research, education, and health care across all colleges and departments to provide regional and national models of health care, which will improve the health and quality of life of older adults. The research program of the IOA focuses on the etiology, prevention, and rehabilitation of cognitive and physical disability associated with aging. This focus is being pursued using an interdisciplinary approach that traverses the entire spectrum of social and biomedical investigation, including molecular biology, in vitro and animal studies, clinical research, behavioral and social sciences, epidemiology, and health services research.
The IOA comprises a total of 6,500 sq. ft. of office space, 10,000 sq. ft. of clinical research space, the Aging and Rehabilitation Research Center (ARRC), and a 7,000 sq. ft. Health Promotion Center. The ARRC has a dedicated parking lot in front of the building and a direct entrance to facilitate access of research participants, a reception and waiting area, exam and interview rooms, meeting rooms, procedures rooms, a biological specimens processing laboratory, data entry stations, study coordinators offices, a study drugs storage room, and several secured storage areas for study documents and areas for freezers for biological specimens repository. The ARRC is also well equipped for phlebotomy, muscle biopsies, and basic processing of human blood. The ARRC has a designated phlebotomy rooms and three exam rooms for performing muscle biopsies. Furthermore, the ARRC houses a 306 sq. ft. room for basic processing of human blood and muscle samples.
Dr. Janis Daly serves as the the Director of the Brain Rehabilitation Research Center of Excellence located at the Malcom Randall VAMC, across from the UF Health Science Center. The goal of the VA-BRRC is to improve the quality of life of survivors of injury to, or disease of the nervous system and to maximize their recovery of motor or cognitive function. VA BRRC research targets innovation and refinement of effective treatments that focus on potentiating neural plasticity and neural network reorganization via theoretically motivated behavioral and/or physiological treatment protocols and translational research projects. The Center of Excellence encourages, advises, and supports researchers and clinicians who are interested in initiating clinically relevant research in rehabilitation of neurocognitive and neuromotor impairments.
The Brooks Center for Rehabilitation Studies was created in 1999, as a result of collaboration between the College of Health Professions at the University of Florida and Brooks Health System. In 2013, new resources were provided to expand on this collaboration. The goal of the Center is to foster a strong relationship between scientific medical research and the application of rehabilitation, particularly the treatment of individuals with brain and spinal cord injuries. The Brooks Health System serves patients in the Florida area via a network of 26 outpatient therapy centers located in Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa. This year alone, Brooks will care for close to 30,000 unique patients covering virtually every population and diagnosis requiring a rehabilitative intervention.
The Brooks Center for Rehabilitation Studies is located in Jacksonville, Florida and features a 4,000 sq. ft. clinical research center. The Brooks Rehabilitation Clinical Research Center is capable of conducting multiple clinical trials concurrently and provides access to a large patient population. Since its inception, the Brooks Center initiative has participated in more than 70 ongoing or completed projects, collaboration with more than 40 investigators. The Brooks Clinical Research Center is staffed with experienced research administrative and clinical professionals including recruitment specialists, licensed research nurses and therapists, research assistants, clinical coordinators, and a data specialist.
The recently renewed VA Rehabilitation Outcomes Research Center is directed by Dr. William Mann. Funded by the Department of Veteran Affairs Health Services Research and Development, and the Rehabilitation Research and Development Services, the mission of the Rehabilitation Outcomes Research Center (RORC) is to conduct interdisciplinary research that improves the health, function, and community reintegration of Veterans challenged by disability and limited access to health related services. The primary research focus of the RORC is to evaluate rehabilitation programs and interventions that result in optimal patient outcomes. Research is organized thematically around three key areas of inquiry: (1) Access, (2) Innovations and Technology, and (3) Outcomes.
The Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Building opened in 2009, is approximately 160,000 gross square feet, and provides about 85,000 net assigned square feet to house: 1) the research and administrative operations of Biomedical Engineering; 2) basic science research labs for the Departments of Physical Therapy, Neuroscience and Pathology and; 3) administrative operations of animal care services and animal housing. The physical and cultural integration of the Biosciences, Medicine, and Biomedical Engineering within the building provides a synergistic and collaborative environment. Several of the NMPT Faculty Mentors have offices and/or cutting edge research labs in the BMS (Borchelt, Golde, Judge, Vandenborne, Fuller and Schmidt). In addition to general basic science equipment, specialized equipment housed within these labs include cell culture hood and CO2 incubator for cell culture, electrophoresis equipment, electroporator (BTX) for electrotransfer of plasmid DNA, hybridization oven, luminometer, fluorescent microscopes with digital camera, microm cryostat for tissue sectioning, microplate reader (UV/Vis), qRT-PCR, thermal cycler, tissue homogenizing equipment, transilluminator for viewing DNA, autoclave, walk in cold room, high-speed ultra centrifuge, and Odyssey system for imaging.
The overall mission of the University of Florida Clinical and Translational Science Institute (UF CTSI) is to improve human health by accelerating the translation of scientific discoveries into practical applications and practices for the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and cure of human diseases. It is geared to attract individual and team investigators to amplify their capabilities, and to help them more effectively and more quickly carry out their clinical and translational research. UF CTSI improvements include awarding of funding for pilot projects, changing the IRB submission process, creating new informatics resources, and introducing a common reimbursement price list for clinical research charges. The CTSI is directed by Dr. David Nelson.
The $25 million Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Institute opened in September 2004 and is a 127,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility that merges resources from the University of Florida and Shands Healthcare system to consolidate patient-oriented research with clinical services. The mission of the Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Institute is to foster and promote musculoskeletal care, research and education. Within the facility are the Radiology Core, Clinical Services Core, Rehabilitation Core, Hand and Upper Extremity Core, Biomechanics and Motion Analysis Laboratory, and Arthroscopy and Surgical Skills Laboratory. The Radiology Core provides advanced MRI, CT scan, fluoroscopy, and digital radiography services. The Clinical Services Core features 48 patient rooms, which are used by the 18 orthopedic surgeons within the University of Florida Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation.
Directed by Dr. Scott Powers, the purpose of the Center for Exercise Science is to provide a state of the art exercise science research program to investigate the comprehensive effects of exercise on humans and other animals. Specific areas of research include the physiological responses to both acute and chronic exercise, rehabilitation of patients suffering from a variety of diseases (i.e. Multiple Sclerosis and stroke), care and rehabilitation of athletic injuries, biomechanical analysis of human movements, cognitive processes involved in human movement, and the psychology of exercise and sports. Over 20 faculty researchers actively involved in conducting research in the Center for Exercise Science work in laboratories totaling more 15,000 square feet of laboratory space. The Center contains research laboratories equipped to study a variety of medical, physiological, biomechanical, and psychomotor functions.
The approximately 120,000 sq. ft. state of the art The Clinical and Translational Research building (CTRB) opened in June 2013 and serves as the virtual command center for all clinical and translational science at the University of Florida. This space brings together the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the Institute on Aging, the UF Clinical Research Center, Department of Health Outcomes and Policy, Department of Biomedical Informatics, Department of Epidemiology, Department of Biostatistics, Department of Aging and Geriatric Research, and Department of Physical Therapy. The space assigned to the Department of Physical Therapy primarily houses the Muscular Dystrophy and pediatric research programs. Facilities include a large pediatric waiting room, a research participant consenting/screening room, a functional assessment room, a small procedure room, five pediatric exam rooms, a large data analysis room, an imaging review room, a large conference room, and 7 faculty offices. Specialized equipment includes a Biodex isokinetic dynamometer, quantitative muscle testing (developed by CNRG), a GAITMAT for gait analysis, EMG, treadmill, and cycle ergometer.
The Center for Respiratory Research and Rehabilitation mission is to create a world-renowned program devoted to understanding physiological challenges to respiratory motor control in health and disease, and to translate our knowledge into strategies of respiratory rehabilitation in devastating clinical disorders that compromise breathing, including (but not limited to): spinal cord injury (SCI); Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS); Parkinson’s Disease; Pompe Disease; Muscular Dystrophy; Traumatic brain injury; stroke; sepsis; cancer cachexia; ventilator weaning failure; sleep apnea; chronic cough; and dysphagia. The center unites basic and clinician scientists at the University of Florida committed to understanding the biology and pathophysiology of breathing and airway defense and creates important links between the University of Florida and private/public organizations that support biomedical research.
The Center for Pain Research and Behavioral Health is directed by Dr. Michael Robinson and is dedicated to the investigation and understanding of the experience of pain in humans and to educate future scientists and health professionals consistent with the most current knowledge in the area of pain. The Center involves a collaboration of scientists from several disciplines (Clinical Psychology, Dentistry, Medicine, Neuroscience, Physical Therapy, Nursing, Computer Science and Engineering) who have pooled their resources and expertise to more fully understand the etiology, diagnosis, and rehabilitation of pain conditions. Projects range from basic science investigations of pain processing in the human brain to prediction of treatment outcome in clinical trials for chronic pain. The Center for Pain Research and Behavioral Health is an 880 sq. ft. facility that contains a sound proof chamber for sensory testing. The Center also has access to additional laboratory space (250 sq. ft.) directly across the hall from the Center’s main facility.
The University of Florida Center for Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration is founded on the philosophy that integrated, interdisciplinary care is the most effective approach for patients with movement disorders and disorders involving a group of circuits in the brain called the basal ganglia. The Center delivers motor, cognitive and behavioral diagnoses as well as various treatments all in one centralized location. Care is coordinated and provided by leading specialists from many advanced medical and surgical services. The Center is housed on the 4th floor of the Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Institute and has over 10,000 square feet of dedicated interdisciplinary space. All specialists live together in an avant-garde side by side arrangement with clinical services, an automatic gait and balance machine, rehab services, a MRI, a swallow suite, laboratory space, a database, a tele-medicine room, and dedicated clinical trials space. Built on the expertise of University of Florida faculty and researchers from 14 different specialty and subspecialty areas, the Center has earned a reputation for excellence and it has become an international destination for patient care, research, and teaching in movement disorders and neurorestoration. Since its creation less than a decade ago, the Center has treated more than 5,000 patients, the majority of whom continue to be followed in one of the largest databases of movement disorders in the world (INFORM-PD).