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$2.2 million grant extends UAB traumatic brain injury model system for five years

The UAB Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation has received a five-year, $2.2 million grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research to continue its traumatic brain injury (TBI) model system.

During the next five years, UAB hopes to accomplish two research priorities, said Dr. Robert Brunner, who was recently named vice chair of PM&R Development and the project director of the UAB TBI model system. First, it aims to validate methods to assess return-to-driving decisions after TBI and develop a driving intervention. UAB also looks to collaborate with other TBI model systems to examine the role geriatric syndromes play on rehabilitation outcomes.

“We have been fortunate to have a strong team of traumatic brain injury researchers over the years within the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation that has allowed us to maintain this grant over the last 25 years,” said Brunner. “Of all the centers that have been involved with the model system over the years, we have recruited and contributed the largest number of patients of any center. This is a testament to the department for their support and all the individuals who have been a part of this grant over the years.”

Dr. Robert Brunner (UAB)

A TBI model system is awarded based on demonstrated excellence in research and knowledge translation that promotes health and quality of life for people with TBI, their families and professionals, Brunner said. UAB has been continually funded as a TBI model system since 1998 and is one of 17 model systems in the U.S.

“This grant award speaks volumes about the department’s outstanding TBI research and also exemplary system of care,” said Dr. Yuying Chen, research director in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in the UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine. “It truly attests to our commitment to the TBI community in the state of Alabama and beyond.”

UAB Medicine’s Spain Rehabilitation Center was named No. 20 in the U.S. News & World Report’s best hospitals for rehabilitation list. Researchers and health care providers at UAB work to enhance and restore functional ability and quality of life to people with physical impairments or disabilities through high-quality patient care, innovative basic science and clinical research, and comprehensive education.

(Courtesy of UAB News)

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