About Our Research
We help individuals with disabilities improve mobility, cognition, quality of life, and gain employment.
Kessler Foundation changes the lives of people with physical and cognitive disabilities through the work of specialized rehabilitation research centers. Our researchers seek ways to overcome obstacles faced by adults and children who live with brain injury, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, stroke, arthritis, and other chronic neurological and orthopedic conditions.
Helping Adults and Children With Disabilities
Our research changes care. Kessler Foundation researchers are recognized nationally and internationally in neuroscience, neuropsychology, neurology, bioengineering, public health, and disability employment. We collaborate with clinical partners to identify needs and assess new methods of treatment. Treatments developed by Kessler Foundation scientists are used by rehabilitation professionals in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, Asia, and South America.
Research Center Directors
Research Center Directors
Director, Center for Spinal Cord Injury Research
Derfner-Lieberman Laboratory for Regenerative Rehabilitation Research
Director, Center for Spinal Stimulation
Neural Plasticity Laboratory
Director, Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center
Center for Neuropsychology and Neuroscience Research
Social Cognition and Neuroscience Laboratory
Cognitive and Affective Neuropsychology Laboratory
Two federal Model System grants establish Kessler Foundation as a center of excellence for both traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spinal cord injury (SCI) research. Model Systems are comprehensive networks that promote independent and collaborative research that will improve the national standard of care for individuals with these devastating injuries. Model Systems are funded by large, multi-year grants sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research. While there are 14 model SCI systems and 16 TBI model systems in the US, Kessler Foundation is one of only eight centers to have dual model systems. These model systems are collaborative efforts with Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation.
- Network for Spatial Neglect
- Kessler Foundation Learning Center
- National Disability Employment Surveys 2017 | 2015
Collaborations with the foremost hospitals and universities across the country are critical to the success of our medical rehabilitation research. Our collaboration with Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School is integral to our designation as one of only eight institutions in the United States to hold Model Systems in both traumatic brain injury (NNJTBIMS) and spinal cord injury (NNJSCIMS). Our partnership with Children’s Specialized Hospital is developing methodologies and treatments to advance rehabilitation techniques in pediatrics. Collaborations with Veterans Administration hospitals include studies to improve care-giving for veterans with spinal cord injuries, the effects of Gulf War illness, and the use of exoskeletons to improve mobility and cardio-vascular function for persons with spinal cord injuries.
Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
Kessler Foundation's Rehabilitation Research Training Program trains individuals in clinical research whose ultimate goal is to improve the rehabilitation outcomes for traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, stroke, spinal cord injury, and other neurological and physical impairments. The program is designed to be multidisciplinary, and will solicit and enroll post-doctoral fellows and clinicians from a wide variety of fields within rehabilitation. These fellows will receive research training that will facilitate the pursuit of a career in rehabilitation research.
Derfner Foundation Funds Novel Research in Regenerative Medicine at Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation has received funding from the Derfner Foundation to support rehabilitation research in the area of regenerative medicine. Researchers are investigating a new treatment for chronic shoulder pain in wheelchair users with spinal cord injury and training a doctoral-level scholar.
Partnering to Develop an Innovative Virtual Reality Stroke Treatment
Kessler Foundation has partnered with Virtualware Group to create a virtual reality based treatment for spatial neglect, the most common spatial deficit after stroke. Under the direction of Peii Chen, PhD, and Denise Krch, PhD, the treatment enhances therapy participation through a safe, interactive, and game-like environment.