Amanda Botticello, PhD, MPH

Amanda Botticello, PhD, MPH is an Assistant Director at Kessler Foundation and Associate Research Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (NJMS). Dr. Botticello trained in social epidemiology and biostatistics in the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has over 15 years of experience analyzing large datasets, developing surveys, and designing quantitative and qualitative research studies. Her research focuses on advancing the science of the social determinants of health, understanding neighborhood effects on health, investigating geographic variation in disability and chronic conditions, and assessing long-term psychosocial outcomes for people with disabilities. She has been the Principal and Co-Investigator on projects funded by the NIH, NIDILRR, and Craig H. Neilsen Foundation.

Her current research portfolio includes a study investigating community activity spaces among adults with SCI using GPS, ecological momentary assessment, and in-depth interview data, a multisite survey of geographic mobility and housing instability after traumatic injury, a randomized control trial of an intervention to improve social and emotional functioning after SCI, and a pilot study assessing the feasibility of using state education data to understand community integration for children with special health care needs.

Dr. Botticello is a Co-Investigator on Kessler’s Spinal Cord Injury (SCIMS) and has led data collection and analysis of the SCIMS database at Kessler for over 10 years. Her work has involved diverse impairment groups (psychiatric, cognitive, and physical disability), medical rehabilitation populations (SCI, TBI, and pediatric), and different aspects of the lifecourse (children, adolescents, and older adults). Her professional service includes Methodology Associate Editor for the Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine since 2015 and work with early-career investigators that was recognized by the Rutgers NJMS Department of PM&R as Mentor of Year in 2018. 

Disability and health outcomes
Spinal cord and tramatic injuries
Environmental factors
Community integration and participation
Advanced biostatistics
Survey design and analysis
Mixed methods design
Fellow, Institute for Health, Healthcare Policy, and Aging Research, Rutgers University
PhD - Public Health, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
MPH - Community Health Sciences, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
BA - Psychology, Amherst College
Mentor of the Year, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, 2018
Sociology of Mental Health Best Dissertation Award. American Sociological Association Meetings, 2006
Kenneth G. Lutterman Student Research Award for Exemplary Paper in Mental Health. 131st Annual American Public Health Association Meeting, 2003
The Honorary Delta Omega Poster Award. 129th Annual American Public Health Association Meeting. 2001
Magna Cum Laude, Amherst College, 1995
Sigma Xi, National Scientific Honor Society, 1995
K99/R00 Career Development Award from the NIH/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development
Research Interests

Dr. Botticello has established a body of work adding a public health perspective to medical rehabilitation research and disability studies. Her substantive interests include improving community integration and independent living for people with disability, the role of environmental factors in health and disability, and understanding geographic location as a key social determinant of health. Her methodological interests include the linking and analysis of large databases, quantitative data analysis, multilevel modeling, survey design, and mixed methods research. 


View a more comprehensive listing of publications for Dr. Botticello on ResearchGate and the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Selected publications:
• Botticello, AL, Tulsky, D, Heinemann, A, Charlifue, S, Kalpakjian, C, Slavin, M, Byrne, R, Rohrbach, T. Contextualizing Disability: The Role of the Built Environment in Functional Independence after SCI. Spinal Cord, 2019, DOI: 10.1038/s41393-018-0186-8.
• Botticello, A., Boninger, M., Charlifue, S., Chen, Y., Fyffe, D., Heinemann, A., Hoffman, J., Jette, A., Kalpakjian, C., Rohrbach, T. Do Neighborhood Differences Mediate Racial Disparities in Participation after Spinal Cord Injury? Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2016, doi  10.1016/j.apmr.2016.04.007.
• Botticello, A.L., Rohrbach, T., Cobbold, N. Differences in the Community Built Environment Influence Poor Perceived Health among Persons with Spinal Cord Injury. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 2015, 96(9), 1583-90.
• Botticello, A.L., Rohrbach, T., Cobbold, N. Disability and the Built Environment: An Investigation of Community and Neighborhood Land Uses and Participation for Physically Impaired Adults. Annals of Epidemiology, 2014, 24:545-550.


Collaborating Studies
  • Northern New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury Model System
  • Return to School: A Pilot Study of Educational Outcomes after Pediatric Rehabilitation