brunnerThe University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation has received a five-year $2.2 million grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research to continue its Traumatic Brain Injury Model System.

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. UAB has been continually funded as a TBI Model System since 1998 and is currently one of 16 other Model Systems around the country.

Professor, Robert Brunner, M.D., who was recently named Vice Chair of PM&R Development, is again leading the UAB Traumatic Brain Injury Model System as Project Director.

“We have been fortunate to have a strong team of Traumatic Brain Injury researchers over the years within the Department of PM&R that has allowed us to maintain this grant over the last 25 years. We are grateful that we have been awarded this grant for the next five years,” said Dr. Brunner.

Over the next 5 years, UAB looks to accomplish two research priorities. First, UAB aims to validate methods to assess return to driving decisions after TBI and develop a driving intervention. Additionally, UAB looks to collaborate with other TBI Model Systems to examine the role geriatric syndromes play on the course of rehabilitation outcomes.

“We have a great team in place and look forward to the next five years of collaboration. 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,” adds Dr. Brunner. “This is a testament to the department for their support and all the individuals that have been a part of this grant over the years.”

“This grant award speaks volumes about the Department’s outstanding TBI research and also exemplary system of care,” said Yuying Chen, M.D., Ph.D., 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.”