Associate Professor
Research Director

Areas of Interest
Traumatic Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury, Sex-Difference in Rehab Outcomes, Response to Disability, Treatment Intervention


Dr. Niemeier completed her Masters and Ph.D. in Clinical/Counseling Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, Virginia. She embarked on a clinical pathway after completion of her Richmond-based internship and residency. However, her clinical work at Sheltering Arms Day Rehabilitation Program led to post-doctoral work in neuropsychology at University of Virginia, and budding research interest. While at Sheltering Arms she developed and initially tested the “Lighthouse Strategy (LHS),” a three-session mental imagery/cognitive behavior strategy to improve post-stroke or TBI visual inattention or neglect. Further testing of the LHS occurred once she became a faculty member at the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at VCU School of Medicine. The Lighthouse is now a rehabilitation practice standard for improvement of neglect and part of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine bi-annual cognitive rehabilitation training. Dr. Niemeier additionally has a Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership Fellowship in Academic Medicine for Women from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA.

Dr. Niemeier’s research has continued to gain national, regional, and international attention. She has been funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, National Institutes of Health, state, foundation, and private industry for almost 20 years. Her research activities and experience include conduct of randomized controlled trials of treatments and development as well as testing of measures to identify variables affecting progress in recovery. Her work reflects a long-standing passion for persistently chasing after some of the most challenging and ongoing problems faced by U.S. and global rehabilitation scientists, providers, and consumers. She has received national awards for innovative neurobehavioral and cognitive treatments as well as for exploration of precision, accuracy, and sensitivity of measures allowing identification of covariates that moderate or mediate rehabilitation outcomes, i.e, sex and ethnicity. She has over 60 publications in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and other books or manuals.

In addition to her leadership in research, Dr. Niemeier has been recognized for appointed service as grant application reviewer for NIDILRR, appointed grant review panel member for NIH/NICHD, grant review panel member for the Department of Veteran’s Affairs and the Department of Defense, and service to the U.S. Secretary of the Veteran’s Administration Advisory Committee on Prosthetics and Special Disabilities Programs. She has an extensive mentoring history of students, residents, and pre- and post-professional rehabilitation providers. She has led both clinical and research department teams within PM & R Departments and professional organizations for the past 20 years.

Education & Training

MS, PhD, Clinical/Counseling Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership Fellowship in Academic Medicine for Women, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA


529 Spain Rehabilitation Center
1717 6th Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35233