Research Programs

The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation has a strong research focus. Our investigators are involved in dozens of studies covering a wide range of research topics including traumatic brain injury, burn rehabilitation, and wound care.

Areas of Research

Traumatic Brain Injury and Stroke

Kathleen Bell, M.D.

Kathleen Bell, M.D., Traumatic Brain Injury and Stoke Research

Dr. Bell's research includes long-term outcomes for TBI, the impact of aerobic exercise on aging brain in TBI, and assessing vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) during rehabilitation for improved upper limb motor function after stroke.

Surendra Barshikar, M.D.

Surendra Barshikar, M.D., Traumatic Brain Injury Research

Dr. Barshikar's research interests include agitation in TBI, telemedicine, and antibiotic stewardship.

Nneka L. Ifejika, M.D.

Nneka L. Ifejika, M.D., Stroke Rehabilitation Research

Dr. Ifejika's research interests include optimization of stroke outcomes during acute hospitalization, using machine learning to predict post-acute rehabilitation process flow, and prevention of acute care readmissions using structured educational protocols.

Shannon Juengst, Ph.D.

Shannon Juengst, Ph.D., Traumatic Brain Injury Research

Dr. Juengst’s overarching research program aims to improve the lives of individuals with neurological disorders and their care partners.

Candice Osborne, M.D.

Candice Osborne, M.D., Stroke Research

Dr. Osborne's research focuses primarily on improving physical function and psychosocial outcomes after stroke.

Mobility and Musculoskeletal

Yasin Dhaher, Ph.D.

Yasin Dhaher, Ph.D., Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Research

Dr. Dhaher's research interest lies at the intersection of three disciplines: biomechanics, neurophysiology, and endocrinology.

Eric James, Ph.D.

Eric James, Ph.D., Mobility Research

Dr. James' research focuses on helping older adults age more gracefully.

Yen-Sheng Lin, Ph.D.

Yen-Sheng Lin, Ph.D., Musculoskeletal Research

Dr. Lin's research interests include functional shoulder instability across lifespan, upper limb exoskeleton therapeutic intervention, musculoskeletal injury prognostic imaging biomarkers, and more.

Spinal Cord Injury and Spine

Thiru M. Annaswamy, M.D.

Thiru M. Annaswamy, M.D., Spine and Spinal Cord Injury Research

Dr. Annaswamy's research includes studying optimal evaluation & therapeutic strategies for patients with chronic pain, spine, and musculoskeletal disorders; better understand and manage human movement and gait disorders; and studying novel applications of technology.

Burns/Wounds

Radha Holavanahalli, Ph.D.

Radha Holavanahalli, Ph.D., Burn Research

Dr. Holavanahalli's research projects include North Texas Burn Rehabilitation Model System (NTBRMS), evaluation of a web-based social skills Training program for survivors of burn injury, and the effect of heat intolerance on exercise and physical function.

Karen Kowalske, M.D.

Karen Kowalske, M.D., Burn Research

Dr. Kowalske's research includes burn model system, heterotopic ossification post burn injury, and tetraparesis following high voltage electrical injury.

Yi-Ting Tzen, Ph.D.

Yi-Ting Tzen, Ph.D., Wound Research

Dr. Tzen’s research theme revolves around pressure injury and diabetic foot ulcer risk identification and prevention.

Pediatric

Robert Rinaldi, M.D.

Robert Rinaldi, M.D., Pediatric Rehabilitation Research

Dr. Rinaldi's primary areas of clinical focus and interest are in rehabilitation of children with peripheral nerve injuries and neuromuscular disorders and development of telemedicine delivery models.

Epilepsy

Jason A D Smith, Ph.D.

Jason A D Smith, Ph.D., Epilepsy Research

Dr. Smith's research highlights include epilepsy surgery in underserved Hispanics, seizure lateralization in Spanish-speaking patients with epilepsy, and cognitive process scores and chronic traumatic brain injury.