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, endowed Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Chair 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 the director of the University of Pittsburgh Model Center on Spinal Cord Injury, a National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) Center of Excellence. He is world renowned for his research in spinal cord injury, assistive technology and neuroprosthetics and related brain computer interface technology.

Dr. Boninger has an extensive publication record of over 20 book chapters and over 200 published papers in the areas of spinal cord injury and assistive technology. He is a member of the advisory board for the Rehabilitation Medicine Scientist Training Program (RMSTP), which provides 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, elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2012, and is the recipient of other prestigious awards including the 2011 A. Estin Comarr Award from the Academy of Spinal Cord Professionals and the John Coulter Stanley Award from the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Dr. Boninger, sought after as a mentor, has provided guidance to more than 75 students from medical students to post doctoral fellows.

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 Foundation, 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