July 2015
Camp INSPIRE is an overnight camp specially designed for children and teens with tracheostomies, ventilators, and BiPAP machines who have complex medical conditions. Dr. Edinger is a devoted member of the Camp Inspire team ensuring medically challenged children get chance to be kids at least once a year. Visit WPXI-Proud to be from Pittsburgh for a video of campers on a zip line. And visit Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh for more information on Camp Inspire at

June 2015
Michael L. Boninger, Professor and Chair, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation is the recipient of the 2015 John Coulter Stanley Award recognizing his professional achievements that contributed significantly to the field of PM&R. Boninger’s Coulter lecture “Neuroprosthetics to Wheelchairs: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Assistive Technology” will be presented at the Annual ACRM meeting on October 29, 2015 in Dallas, TX

May 2015
Corina Bondi, PhD, Assistant Professor in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and at the Safar Center for Resuscitation Research, was awarded the inaugural Early Career Award by the Nominations and Awards Committee of the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society (IBNS), based on academic achievements, promise as an independent investigator and involvement within the Society. Her award plenary talk at the 24th IBNS Annual Meeting in Victoria, Canada, was entitled “Unraveling frontal lobe dysfunction after traumatic brain injury using preclinical models”. Dr. Bondi was also recently elected by the membership as the incoming Secretary within the IBNS Council, which has a 3-year term in office.

February 13, 2015

With funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)’s Hand Proprioception and Touch Interfaces (HAPTIX) program, Robert Gaunt, Ph.D., assistant professor and a multidisciplinary research team from Pitt, West Virginia University and Ripple LLC will begin developing the technology with the aim of being able to test it in patients’ homes within four years.

For more information:

February, 2015
Dr. Amy Houtrow has been appointed to Standing Committee of Medical Experts to Assist Social Security on Disability Issues, a committee of the Institute of Medicine in charge of assisting the Social Security Administration. To read more about the work of this valuable committee go to the web page:

Dr. Houtrow is an associate professor and chair of the Division of Pediatric Rehab Medicine (PRM) and director of the PRM fellowship program.

to top of page

February, 2015
The Carnegie Science Awards recognize those people who are making outstanding achievements is science and technology in western Pennsylvania. Dr. Fabrisia Ambrosio is awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Carnegie Science Award, Emerging Female Scientist category.

The Emerging Female Scientist Award recognizes a female leader whose cutting-edge work inspires change in math, science, or technology.

January, 2015
In January 2015 the UHC inaugurated a program called the “Honors College Faculty Fellows.” This new designation is intended to provide an honorific title to faculty members who have made substantial contributions to the UHC during the past five years.

Dr. Wagner is one of only 3 faculty members from the School of Medicine. To read more about this honor visit "Honors College Faculty Fellows" on the UHC website

December, 2014
Research findings from the laboratory of Jennifer Collinger, PhD, assistant professor, were published in the Journal of Neural Engineering. The abstract can be accessed on PubMed. The research describes the advancements made in brain control of a prosthetic device. Read about the refined movements and the people involved in this ground breaking work.

Brain controlled robotic arm helps Pittsburgh woman with quadriplegia...(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Pittsburgh area mom makes medical history with robotic arm... (TribLIVE News)

Thumbs up: Mind-Controlled Robot Arm Wins at Rock-Paper-Scissors (NBC News video)....

Thought control makes robot arm grab and move objects...(New Scientist)

See the most sophisticated mind controlled robot arm yet...(Popular Science)

November, 2014

Dr. Gwendolyn Sowa is the 2014 recipient of the PASSOR Legacy Award and Lectureship and will present at this year's AAPMR Annual Meeting in November.

Dr. Prakash Jayabalan, Academic Chief Resident, has been chosen to present during the "Best Neurological Rehabilitation Research Podium Presentations."
to top of page

Brad Dicianno, MD, MS, associate professor, was named a Pitt Innovator at the 10th annual "Celebration of Innovation" for research and development of software that uses smartphone apps and a web-based portal to help individuals with disabilities and chronic conditions manage their self-care activities and provides a way for clinicians to triage and intervene quickly.


Traumatic brain injury treatment approach not 'one-size-fits-all'
Amy Wagner, MD discusses the importance of personalized medicine in the treatment of traumatic brain injury.
"Doctors increasingly are shifting their attention to finding therapies that fit the individual needs of their patients, and physical rehabilitation ... link to Pittsburgh Business News

November, 2014
Dr. Amy K.Wagner joins Medical Panel of BIAA/Mount Sinai TBI Rehabilitation Guidelines Project. As part of its mission to advance research and appropriate treatment for people with brain injuries, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) announced in July that it has awarded a grant to the Brain Injury Research Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The grant funds a three-year investigation to develop Guidelines for the Rehabilitation and Disease Management of Adults with Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Dr. Wagner is a member of a group of fifty of the nation’s top researchers and clinicians, as well as family members of people with brain injuries, selected to review and assess evidence in functional, medical, cognitive, behavioral, and social domains.

Presentations from the first meeting can be viewed online at

August, 2014
"Changing Trends of Childhood Disability, 2001-2011"
The percentage of children with disabilities due to neurodevelopmental or mental health conditions continues to rise, particularly among children in more socially advantaged households, according to a Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC analysis that appears in the September issue of Pediatrics

The following links will take you to reports from several news agencies:
CNN: Childhood mental health disabilities on the rise
Washington Post (Associated Press) Analysis: Disabilities among U.S. children increase slightly
U.S. News & World Report (Healthday): Childhood Mental Disability Rates Up, Study Finds
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Study: Kids' stress cited as disorders increase
90.5 WESA; NPR: Disability Rates Among Children Continue To Rise, Especially in One Category

The research was funded by grants K12H133B031102 and T76MC000141900 from the National Institutes of Health and Department of Health and Human Services

to top of page

July, 2014
UPMC East Hospital is home to the 9th inpatient unit to be added to the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute. Located in Monroeville, the 19 bed unit provides specialized physiatric treatment after stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, and post-operative rehabilitation. UPMC East is accredited by the Joint Commission as a primary stroke center. The unit includes an inpatient therapy gym with various robotic rehab equipment and an occupational daily living unit. Peter Hurh, M.D., medical director of the UPMC East Rehab Institute, specializes in inpatient rehabilitation.

June, 2014
Dr. Anthony E. Kline, PhD, a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of PMR was recently awarded an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to fund his study “Optimizing environmental enrichment to model preclinical neurorehabilitation.” The 5 year grant is designed to refine and further develop the environmental enrichment model that conforms more closely, in terms of time of initiation and duration of physiotherapeutic exposure, to that seen in real-world neurorehabilitation practice. ...more

to top of page

January, 2014

Pediatric Rehab team, headed by Angela Garcia, MD, ends 2 year ordeal for Alex Carlin. Read about it here.