Andrew C. Smith, PT, DPT, PhD, assistant professor at Regis University School of Physical Therapy, was recently awarded the NCMRR Early Career Research R03 Award, from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Intended to support basic and clinical research from rehabilitation scientists who are establishing independent research careers, Smith will use this award for his project titled “MRI and machine learning to improve early prognosis and clinical management after spinal cord injury.”
Smith is a three-time Foundation for Physical Therapy Research funding recipient. He was awarded a $5,000 Florence P. Kendall Doctoral Scholarship in 2012, a Promotion of Doctoral Studies (PODS) I scholarship in 2014 at the Mary Lou Barnes PODS II scholarship in 2015.
While completing his PhD, Smith expressed his desire to “improve outcomes for patients with injury to the cervical spinal cord” but to do so needed better understanding “of the biological mechanisms underlying poor recovery rates in these patients.” His PODS-supported PhD work directly influenced the foundation for his current R03 research project.
“I am incredibly grateful to the NICHD NCMRR for providing the necessary funding to allow my collaborators and I to conduct this translational research,” said Smith. “It is validating to know the NIH scientific community values our work aiming to improve the lives and wellbeing of individuals post spinal cord injury.”
Collaborators on this project include Drs. Denise O’Dell and Stephanie Albin (Regis University), Dr. Jeffrey Berliner and Dr. David Dungan (Craig Hospital), Dr. Kenneth Weber (Stanford University), and Professor Jim Elliott (University of Sydney).