The field of rehabilitation science has come to a turning point at the beginning of the 21st century. Whereas rehabilitation was once narrowly defined as the restoration or adaptation of body systems in response to trauma or disease, rehabilitation now reaches beyond cells and into society, beyond disease into wellness, and beyond bodies into real lives. The future of rehabilitation science will be realized by building partnerships: partnerships across disciplines, partnerships that meld innovative methodologies and technologies, and partnerships that bridge the gap between the laboratory and the clinic, bringing cutting-edge research from bench to bedside. At USC we are expanding the horizons of rehabilitation science, and seeking to transform the nature and future of rehabilitation itself.
Rehabilitation science at USC couples the well respected, successful, and innovative research programs in Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy and Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy with some of the most visionary and productive scholars in related fields who are committed to advancing rehabilitation science. USC has a critical mass of scholars within occupational therapy and physical therapy, and in such fields as robotics, virtual reality, neurosciences, universal design, neuroplasticity, and artificial intelligence. These existing partnerships provide the foundation for rehabilitation science at USC. We are also developing an integrated national network of leaders that will drive an expansion of our interdisciplinary partnership model for advancing, and accelerating, medical rehabilitation research.