Interests: biomechanics, cumulative trauma disorders, spinal cord injuries, wheelchairs, multiple sclerosis , carpal tunnel syndrome, shoulder joint, wrist injuries, promoting careers in medical research.

Michael Boninger, MD is professor and chair in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and the Director of UPMC Rehabilitation Institute. He also serves as medical director of Human Engineering Research Laboratories ( and holds secondary appointments in the Departments of Rehabilitation Sciences and Technology and Bioengineering.

Dr. Boninger is also the director of the University of Pittsburgh Model Center on Spinal Cord Injury, a National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research Center of Excellence.
Dr. Boninger has an extensive publication record of over 20 book chapters and 174 published papers spanning 18 years in the areas of spinal cord injury and assistive technology. He is the Principal Investigator of the NIH funded Rehabilitation Medicine Scientist Training Program (RMSTP), a $6 million grant providing training funds for clinician researchers across the country, and serves as the president of the Association of Academic Physiatrists.

He holds 4 US patents, was inducted in the National Spinal Cord Injury Association Hall of Fame in 2006, and has won numerous awards including the 2011 A. Estin Comarr Award from the Academy of Spinal Cord Professionals. Dr. Boninger’s students have also won over 45 national awards.

Board Certifications:
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Human Engineering Research Laboratories

Visit Dr. Boninger’s UPMC page for medical practice information.

Dr. Boninger’s publications on PubMed.

John Coulter Stanley Award
American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine
Soffia Wathne Memorial Lecture, Mt Sinai School of Medicine, NY, NY
Best Doctor, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Pittsburgh Magazine
Breakthrough Award, Popular Mechanics.
Elected to the Institute of Medicine
A. Estin Comarr Award,
The Academy of Spinal Cord Professionals
PM&R Teacher of the Year, Kessler Fundation, UMDNJ
Gail F. Beach Memorial Lectureship, the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis
Ben L. Boynton Lectureship, Northwestern University
Hall of Fame National Spinal Cord Injury Association
Shears Lecture Award, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Best Paper Award
Liberty Mutual & International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Honorary Licht Lectureship, The Ohio State University
James Rae Lectureship, The University of Michigan
Annual Award for Research Achievement VA Stars and Stripes Healthcare Network
Health Care Heroes Award for Innovation and Research Pittsburgh Business Times