Kessler Researchers Impact ACRM Conference

By Nicky Miller 

The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine conference was held on December 5-8, in Chicago, IL. Over 14 of Kessler Foundation researchers attended, presenting posters, winning awards, and giving talks in various topics on rehabilitation research.


Taking home this year’s ACRM Fellowship award was Jeanne Zanca, PhD, senior research scientist, at the Centers for Spinal Cord Injury and Outcomes and Assessment Research at Kessler Foundation.

Fellows of ACRM are recognized for their outstanding service to the organization and have made a significance in the field of medical rehabilitation.

Dr. Zanca is known for her work with ACRM’s Spinal Cord Injury Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group, a place for research minded members of the SCI community to gather. It’s a group for clinicians and researchers to unite and find ways to help people with disabilities.   

Also, former Kessler Foundation postdoctoral fellow, Juan Carlos Arango-Lasprilla, PhD, won the ACRM Mitchell Rosenthal Mid-Career Award. This award recognizes Arango-Lasprilla's contributions and leadership to the field of brain injury research. 

Presentations and Posters 

“Cultural Humility: A Modest Introduction and Overview” was presented by Anthony Lequerica, PhD, senior research scientist at the Center for Traumatic Brain Injury Research at Kessler Foundation.  

Dr. Lequerica's ACRM activity was covered on Kessler's Facebook channel and gained some attraction.


Drs. Erica Weber, Ekaterina Dobryakova and John DeLuca presented on “Cognitive Rehabilitation: Examining the Evidence from Brain to Behavior.”

“Muslim Americans: Update on Mental Health, Disability Status, Cultural Beliefs & Implications for Competent Care” by Kessler researchers, Drs. Erkut Kucukboyaci,Joman Natsheh and Rooshey Hasnain, EdD, MA, from the University of Illinois.

Drs. John O’Neill and Denise Fyffe teamed up for the poster “Striving to Work: Experience of Veterans Living with a Spinal Cord Injury.”

Dr. Fyffe also presented a poster on “Personal and Cultural Factors Associated with Functional Independence in SCI” funded by NIDILRR and the Craig Neilsen Foundation. 

Below are a few photos of all the action at ACRM. 




Dr. Jeanne Zanca, receiving ACRM award

Dr. Jeanne Zanca, receiving her award at the ACRM ceremony. 

Photo of five Kessler researchers at ACRM conference

Representing the Centers for Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury and Grantmaking are
Drs. Denise Fyffe, Anthony Lequerica, John O'Neill, Nathan Hogaboom, and Amanda Botticello. 

Photo of Dr. Anthony Lequerica presenting at the ACRM conference

Dr. Anthony Lequerica gearing up to speak at this year's ACRM conference. 

Photo of Drs. Denise Fyffe and John O'Neill presenting their poster

Drs. Denise Fyffe and John O'Neill presenting their poster at ACRM. 

Photo of Dr. John DeLuca presenting at the ACRM conference

Dr. John DeLuca, giving a presentation about cognitive rehabilitation.