Gail Forrest, PhD

Headshot Gail Forrest,PhD with a Black Background

Director, Center for Spinal Stimulation
Neural Plasticity Laboratory

Department
Center for Mobility and Rehabilitation Engineering Research
Center for Spinal Stimulation Research
Laboratory
Neural Plasticity Laboratory
Phone
973-324-3518

Gail F. Forrest, PhD, associate director of Human Performance and Engineering Research at Kessler Foundation, is also Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Rutgers – New Jersey Medical School. As a postdoctoral fellow at Kessler Foundation Research Center in 2002, Dr. Forrest was awarded grant funding by the New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Injury Research to investigate locomotor training (LT) using body weight support with manual assistance for individuals after incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI).

Over the last 6 years, Dr. Forrest has continued to receive state and federal funded grants concentrating on the neuroplasticity, improvement in secondary consequences and restoration of function for individuals after SCI. She has presented and published extensively in the area of neuroplasticity and musculoskeletal changes for individuals after SCI. Dr. Forrest has other key interests in the area of biomechanics as related to modeling algorithms for under standing control mechanisms in upper extremity (i.e. arm reaching after stroke), and postural control during locomotion. All her areas of research are ultimately focused towards the improvement of functional mobility. 

Currently, she is combining exoskeletal-assisted walking with external electrical stimulation of the spinal cord toward potentially promoting voluntary muscle firing and independent walking. Neuroimaging of the spinal cord is used to assess how the combination therapy can strengthen connectivity of the pathway between the brain and injured spinal cord and how the improved connectivity explains gains in walking and balance function. Participants are scanned at the Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center at Kessler Foundation to analyze changes in spinal cord connectivity after the treatment.

Expertise
Neuroplasticity
Muscoloskeletal changes
Spinal Cord Injury
Biomechanics
Modeling Algorithms
Research Interests

She has presented and published extensively in the area of neuroplasticity and musculoskeletal changes for individuals after SCI. Dr Forrest has other key interests in the area of biomechanics as related to modeling algorithms for under standing control mechanisms in upper extremity (i.e. arm reaching after stroke), and postural control during locomotion. All her areas of research are ultimately focused towards the improvement of functional mobility. 

Currently, she is combining exoskeletal-assisted walking with external electrical stimulation of the spinal cord toward potentially promoting voluntary muscle firing and independent walking. Neuroimaging of the spinal cord is used to assess how the combination therapy can strengthen connectivity of the pathway between the brain and injured spinal cord and how the improved connectivity explains gains in walking and balance function. Participants are scanned at the Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center at Kessler Foundation to analyze changes in spinal cord connectivity after the treatment.

Publications

View a more comprehensive listing of publications for Dr. Forrest on ResearchGate.

Arpin DJ, Forrest GF, Harkema S, Rejc E. (2018) submaximal marker for investigating peak muscle torque using NMES after paralysis. J Neurotrauma. doi:10.1089/neu.2018.5848. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30226407.

Morrison SA, Lorenz D, Eskay CP, Forrest GF, Basso DM. (2018) response to letter to the editor. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 99(5):1024-1026. doi:
10.1016/j.apmr.2018.01.003. PubMed PMID: 29699647.

Momeni K, Ramanujam A, Garbarini EL, Forrest GF. (2018) Multi-muscle Electrical Stimulation and stand training: effects on standing. J Spinal Cord Med. 1-14. doi: 10.1080/10790268.2018.1432311. PubMed PMID:29447105.

Tefertiller C, Hays K, Jones J, Jayaraman A, Hartigan C, Bushnik T, Forrest GF. (2017) initial outcomes from a multicenter study utilizing the Indego Powered Exoskeleton in spinal cord injury. Top Spinal Cord Inj Rehabil. 24(1):78-85. doi: 10.1310/sci17-00014. Epub PubMed PMID:29434463; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5791927.

Morrison SA, Lorenz D, Eskay CP, Forrest GF, Basso DM. (2017) longitudinal recovery and reduced costs after 120 sessions of locomotor training for motor incomplete spinal cord injury. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 99(3):555-562. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2017.10.003. Epub PubMed PMID: 29107040.

Memberships

 

 
Collaborating Studies