Brian DudgeonBrian J. Dudgeon, Ph.D., OTR, FAOTA has been named chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Health Professions. His appointment begins October 1, 2012.

Dudgeon, a nationally known researcher on disability and rehabilitation, comes from the University of Washington in Seattle where he is an associate professor in the Division of Occupational Therapy. He also served in several clinical settings in Seattle, manager of Occupational Therapy at Seattle Children’s Hospital and staff occupational therapist at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center.

“We are extremely pleased that Dr. Dudgeon is joining the school in this role,” said Harold Jones, Ph.D., dean of the school. “His accomplishments as a faculty member at the University of Washington and his long history of national, state and community advocacy on issues related to disability will complement our outstanding occupational therapy program.”

Dudgeon will take over from Jan Rowe, Dr. OT, who has served as the interim chair since 2010. During Rowe’s tenure, the department created a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science program jointly with the Department of Physical Therapy and established a Tourette Syndrome Clinic.

Dudgeon sees this new position as an opportunity to discover teaching and practice approaches being used by the UAB faculty and understand the needs of occupational therapists in the area.

“I hope to learn from and effectively guide the department in preparing effective occupational therapy practitioners and researchers who can address needs in the local community and region,” said Dudgeon, Ph.D., OTR. “Partnerships within the community will continue to be important to our success as a program.”

Dudgeon is a NIH and CDC-funded therapist whose research has focused on spinal cord injuries and spina bifida. He has assisted on numerous national committees including the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research, American Occupational Therapy Association Task Force on Human Genome Project and the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine Research Dissemination Committee. He served on the editorial board for the American Journal of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Therapy Journal of Research, and he is an active member and speaker for the American Occupational Therapy Association.

Dudgeon received his undergraduate degree in occupational therapy, master’s degree in rehabilitation medicine and doctoral degree in education from the University of Washington. He was named a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association in 2003.