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Dr. Botticello of Kessler Foundation receives NIDILRR subaward to improve spinal cord injury outcomes

dr botticello wearing a red jacket

Kessler Foundation awarded $605,000 subaward by the National Institute on Disability Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research, to serve as study site for cognitive-behavioral intervention for community-based individuals with SCI


November 28, 2017. Amanda Botticello, PhD, MPH, received a $605,000 subaward from the National Institute on Disability Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research to study a cognitive-behavioral intervention in the outpatient population with spinal cord injury (SCI).  Craig Hospital in Denver, Colorado, is the lead site for the five-year grant, titled, “Reinventing yourself after SCI.”  The two sub-sites are Kessler Foundation in West Orange, New Jersey, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


Investigators plan to enroll more than 250 individuals in this randomized controlled trial of this cognitive-behavioral intervention. Participants must be at least 4 weeks post discharge to the community.  The intervention is a six-week structured program of group therapy based on helping individuals develop the confidence and skills necessary to fully participate in the community. 


“We will look at the effects of this intervention on self-efficacy, emotional wellbeing, and community participation,” explained Dr. Botticello, research scientist in SCI and Outcomes & Assessment Research at Kessler Foundation.  “We anticipate that gaining a positive perspective on living with SCI will help individuals adjust to their disability, support their efforts to fully engage at home, at work, and in their community, and result in improved outcomes for this population.”


Funding source: NIDILRR grant 90DPHF0002, PI: Susan Charlifue, PhD, Craig Hospital.


About SCI Research at Kessler Foundation

Kessler Foundation is one of the most active centers for SCI Research in the country. Under the leadership of Trevor Dyson-Hudson, MD, and Steven Kirshblum, MD, scientists conduct investigator-initiated and industry-sponsored studies and clinical trials in SCI and Outcomes Assessment Research.  The Northern New Jersey SCI System, one of 14 model systems in the nation, provides a continuum of care, research, and outreach aimed at improving the lives of people with SCI.

Research funding sources include the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living & Rehabilitation Research, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Veterans Administration, the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, the New Jersey Commission for SCI Research, and Kessler Foundation. Foundation scientists have faculty appointments at Rutgers University; selected researchers are affiliated faculty at NJIT.  

About Kessler Foundation

Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. Learn more by visiting

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Carolann Murphy, PA; 973-324-8382;


Submitted by cmurphy on Tue, 11/28/2017 - 11:42