David BrownDavid A. Brown, PT, Ph.D., a leading expert on physical therapy and rehabilitation, has been tapped as the inaugural director of the PhD in Rehabilitation Science program in the School of Health Professions at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The program is housed jointly in the Department of Occupational Therapy and the Department of Physical Therapy to prepare graduates to contribute to the field of rehabilitation as academicians and scientists. 

“Rehabilitation science is a rather new discipline and we want to be on the cutting edge of this discipline,” said Jan Rowe, Dr. OT, interim chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy. “The hire of Dr. Brown is significant considering his national reputation and proven track record in scientific inquiry. His vision will move our program to a leading spot in the field of rehabilitation science.” 

Brown has nearly 20 years experience as a physical therapy educator as well as 15 years working as a clinical physical therapist in various healthcare organizations. He has spent the last 13 years at Northwestern University focusing his research in the areas of locomotor and balance dysfunction of persons with neurological impairments. He is the founder of KineaDesign, LLC, a research, development and engineering design firm specializing in human interactive mechatronics.

“Dr. Brown’s research focus complements the department’s initiatives of enhancing treatment outcomes for persons with neurological deficits, and will provide excellent research opportunities for the students,” said Sharon Shaw, PT, DrPH, chair of the Department of Physical Therapy.

Brown is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, Society of Neuroscience, International Gait and Posture Research Society and Society of Neural Control of Movement.

He earned his doctoral degree in exercise science from the University of Iowa, master’s degree in physical therapy from Duke University, and a bachelor’s degree in physics from The University of Rochester.

For more information on the Rehabilitation Science program, visit www.uab.edu/rsphd.