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Brooks Research Scientists Receive National Awards

Beyond Magazine

Oct 8, 2019

This article was originally published in our Fall 2019 Issue of Brooks Rehabilitation Beyond Magazine. Subscribe online.

Two research scientists who are part of the Brooks Rehabilitation and the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions (Brooks/UF-PHHP) Research Collaboration, each received awards from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) for their outstanding contributions to physical therapy research. 

Chattanooga Research Award 

Jason M. Beneciuk, PT, DPT, PhD, MPH, was awarded APTA’s Chattanooga Research Award. This award recognizes an author or team whose published work in Physical Therapy Journal (PTJ) “demonstrates a significant contribution to physical therapy and presents a novel and innovative research study or theoretical model that addresses an important area of physical therapy.”

Titled “Prediction of Persistent Musculoskeletal Pain at 12 Months: A Secondary Analysis of the Optimal Screening for Prediction of Referral and Outcome (OSPRO) Validation Cohort Study,” the winning publication analyzed the possibility to predict patients who are at risk for long-standing musculoskeletal pain. The paper also went on to receive the Dean’s Citation Paper Award for 2019 from the University of Florida’s College of Public Health & Health Professions. This award is given by the college to acknowledge innovation and excellence in research.

Dr. Beneciuk said, “With the national crisis of opioid misuse and addiction, the ability to predict who will develop long-standing pain will allow for better, earlier use of non-pharmacological treatments, such as physical therapy.”

Dr. Beneciuk currently serves as the acting director for the Brooks/UF-PHHP Research Collaboration. He is also an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla., and a Clinical Research Scientist at the Brooks Rehabilitation Clinical Research Center in Jacksonville, Fla.

Eugene Michels New Investigator Award

Emily J. Fox, PT, DPT, PhD received APTA’s Eugene Michels New Investigator Award, which honors impactful research activities undertaken by researchers within 10 years after the completion of their highest academic degree or fellowship. 

Dr. Fox’s primary research interests focus on motor control and recovery following neurologic injury and disease. Her research includes a range of important and impactful issues to patients including the recovery of breathing function after spinal cord injury, improving walking tasks in older adults, and improving walking function after stroke and spinal cord injury.

She is already an author on 31 peer reviewed publications including five as first author and two as senior author.  Her publication portfolio includes physical therapy journals (e.g. Physical Therapy Journal, Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy), rehabilitation journals (e.g. NeuroRehabilitation), and multidisciplinary journals (e.g. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, Experimental Brain Research, PLOS One) acknowledging the quality of her work as well as the appeal to a wide audience.  Dr. Fox also has over 20 national presentations including the American Physical Therapy Association’s Combined Sections Meeting as well as multidisciplinary meetings such as the International Therapeutic Intermittent Hypoxia Symposium, the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine annual conference, the American Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals Annual Meeting, and the American Society of Biomechanics annual meeting.

“I am honored to be recognized by my colleagues and the American Physical Therapy Association as a recipient of the Eugene Michels New Investigator Award. This award reflects the many opportunities and tremendous support I have been fortunate to receive. I am extremely grateful to my mentors, my family, and the many friends, colleagues and patients who have inspired and supported me. The University of Florida Department of Physical Therapy and Brooks Rehabilitation have provided outstanding environments for growth, collaboration, and the conduct of impactful clinical research,” said Dr. Fox.

Dr. Fox is a research assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla., as well as Director of Neuromuscular Research and Director of the Brooks Motion Analysis Center for Brooks Rehabilitation in Jacksonville, Fla.

Dr. Raine Osborne, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, director of the Brooks Rehabilitation Clinical Research Center, said, “To receive either one of these prestigious awards is an honor, but to have two of our researchers nationally recognized for their incredible accomplishments is rare, and truly speaks to the caliber of work that is being done here at Brooks and through the Brooks/UF-PHHP Collaboration.”


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