Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Research at the Medical College of Wisconsin

Matt Durand, PhDThe PM&R Research Program exists to advance the science and practice of physical medicine and rehabilitation. Our program aims to better understand and reduce impairments and functional disabilities due to disease or traumatic events. We cover a wide spectrum of research in our Program, including community engagement, clinical and translational research, quality improvement, and medical and resident education. Clinicians and researchers in PM&R conduct industry sponsored clinical trials, grant-supported investigator initiated clinical studies, and departmentally supported clinical studies (retrospective and prospective) that significantly contribute to improving clinical practice and patient care.

Research in our PM&R Department is highly diverse and collaborative. Our current research areas of interest include spinal cord injury, health improvements through physical activity, stroke rehabilitation, spasticity management, pain, prehabilitation, vascular biology, and prosthetics. Current collaborators include MCW faculty in other clinical and basic science departments, as well as extensive collaborations with the Departments of Physical Therapy and Biomedical Engineering at Marquette University and the College of Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. PM&R at MCW also has an excellent research partner in the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center. Our community partners include the Wisconsin Adaptive Sports Association and the Stroke Rehabilitation Center Community Academic Advisory Board, among others.

Our Residency Program includes a research requirement. Our unique Research-Intensive Track offers protected research time, funding, and significant mentorship opportunities for residents who have career goals that include conducting clinical research. Our trainees routinely present their work at national meetings, including, but not limited to, the annual meetings of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Association of Academic Psychiatrists, and American Medical Society for Sports Medicine. Our residents also have had their research projects independently funded by associations like the Foundation for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as well as the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Please visit the Residency Program page for more information on resident research.

Pictured: Matt Durand, PhD, Research Director

The Stroke Rehabilitation Center of Southeastern Wisconsin

Our partnership with Marquette University has established The Stroke Rehabilitation Center of Southeastern Wisconsin (SRC). The goal of this center is to conduct cutting edge rehabilitation research to improve functional outcomes for stroke survivors. Our research in this area is guided by a Community Academic Advisory Board comprised of clinicians, stroke survivors, caregivers, and academic researchers. Please visit the SRC website to learn more.

View the 2019 SRC Annual Report (PDF)



Choi H, Varghese V, Baisden J, Braza DW, Banerjee A, Yoganandan N. Upright Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study of Cervical Flexor/Extensor Musculature and Cervical Lordosis in Females After Helmet Wear. Mil Med. 2021 Jan 25;186(Suppl 1):632-638. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usaa433. PMID: 33499469.

Francisco GE, Balbert A, Bavikatte G, Bensmail D, Carda S, Deltombe T, Draulans N, Escaldi S, Gross R, Jacinto J, Ketchum N, Molteni F, Moraleda S, ODell MW, Reebye R, Säterö P, Verduzco-Gutierrez M, Walker H, Wissel J. A practical guide to optimizing the benefits of post-stroke spasticity interventions with botulinum toxin A: An international group consensus. J Rehabil Med. 2021 Jan 1;53(1):jrm00134. doi: 10.2340/16501977-2753. PMID: 33057730.

Bosques G, Ankam NS, Kasi R, Rydberg L, Sauter C, Therattil M, Tolchin DW. Now is the time: A primer on how to be a disability education champion in your medical school. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2021 Feb 19. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001703. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33496438.


Jozwiak MJ, Wu H. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Management: An Evaluation of the Risks and Benefits of Spinal Cord Stimulator Use in Pregnancy. Pain Pract. 2020 Jan;20(1):88-94. doi: 10.1111/papr.12825. Epub 2019 Sep 12. PMID: 31357254.

Donohue NK, Graf EJ, Visotcky AM, Tarima SS, Hsu AC (2020) Prognostic Factors for Disability and Pain Outcomes in Patients with Axial Low Back Pain Undergoing a Multidisciplinary Spine Treatment Program. Int J Physiatry 6:019. Jan 2020

Baer HR, Gilbert AR, Forster JE, Ketchum NC, Mallow M, Nguyen VQC. Use of the Electrodiagnostic Entrustable Professional Activity for Competency Assessment in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Training Programs. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2020 Jan;99(1):81-85. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001302. PMID: 31464758.

Patel JJ, Baruah D, Sobush D, Koester K, Aase J, Zellner S, Graf J, Durand MJ, Szabo A, Shahir K. Identifying High-Attenuating and Low-Attenuating Muscle Using Computerized Tomography and Exploring Its Impact on Physical Function and Muscle Strength in Obese Critically Ill Patients. Nutr Clin Pract. 2020 Feb;35(1):133-141. doi: 10.1002/ncp.10325. Epub 2019 Jun 6. PMID: 31172570.

Donohue NK, Tarima SS, Durand MJ, Wu H. Comparing pain relief and functional improvement between methylprednisolone and dexamethasone lumbosacral transforaminal epidural steroid injections: a self-controlled study. Korean J Pain. 2020 Apr 1;33(2):192-198. doi: 10.3344/kjp.2020.33.2.192. PMID: 32235020; PMCID: PMC7136301.

Janarthanan V, Assad-Uz-Zaman M, Rahman MH, McGonigle E, Wang I. Design and development of a sensored glove for home-based rehabilitation. J Hand Ther. 2020 Apr-Jun;33(2):209-219. doi: 10.1016/j.jht.2020.03.023. Epub 2020 May 23. PMID: 32451172.

Cyr AK, Colorado BS, Uihlein MJ, Garlanger KL, Tarima SS, Lee K. Prevalence of lateral epicondylosis in veteran manual wheelchair users participating in adaptive sports. J Spinal Cord Med. 2020 Jun 12:1-7. doi: 10.1080/10790268.2020.1771243. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32527209.

Iverson M, Ng AV, Yan AF, Zvara K, Bonk M, Falk-Palec D, Sylla C, Strickland M, Preston R, Braza DW. Navigator Role for Promoting Adaptive Sports and Recreation Participation in Individuals with Disabilities. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2020 Jul 15. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001533. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32675707.

Assad Uz Zaman, M., Islam, M.R., Rahman, M.H. et al. Robot sensor system for supervised rehabilitation with real-time feedback. Multimed Tools Appl 79, 26643–26660 (2020).

Sotelo MR, Kalinosky BT, Goodfriend K, Hyngstrom AS, Schmit BD. Indirect Structural Connectivity Identifies Changes in Brain Networks After Stroke. Brain Connect. 2020 Oct;10(8):399-410. doi: 10.1089/brain.2019.0725. Epub 2020 Sep 24. PMID: 32731752.

Durand MJ, Hader SN, Derayunan A, Zinkevich N, McIntosh JJ, Beyer AM. BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitors promote pathological changes in dilator phenotype in the human microvasculature. Microcirculation. 2020 Oct;27(7):e12625. doi: 10.1111/micc.12625. Epub 2020 Sep 5. PMID: 32395853; PMCID: PMC7606774.

Harper MW, Lee J, Sherman KA, Uihlein MJ, Lee KKK. Wheelchair Athlete Concussion Baseline Data: A Pilot Retrospective Analysis. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2020 Oct 22. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001630. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33105155.

Hyngstrom AS, Nguyen JN, Wright MT, Tarima SS, Schmit BD, Gutterman DD, Durand MJ. Two weeks of remote ischemic conditioning improves brachial artery flow mediated dilation in chronic stroke survivors. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2020 Dec 1;129(6):1348-1354. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00398.2020. Epub 2020 Oct 22. PMID: 33090908; PMCID: PMC7792845.


Durand MJ, Boerger TF, Nguyen JN, Alqahtani SZ, Wright MT, Schmit BD, Gutterman DD, Hyngstrom AS. Two weeks of ischemic conditioning improves walking speed and reduces neuromuscular fatigability in chronic stroke survivors. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2019 Mar 1;126(3):755-763. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00772.2018. Epub 2019 Jan 17. PMID: 30653420; PMCID: PMC6459385.

Murphy S, Durand M, Negro F, Farina D, Hunter S, Schmit B, Gutterman D, Hyngstrom A. The Relationship Between Blood Flow and Motor Unit Firing Rates in Response to Fatiguing Exercise Post-stroke. Front Physiol. 2019 May 10;10:545. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00545. PMID: 31133877; PMCID: PMC6524339.

Durand MJ, Ait-Aissa K, Levchenko V, Staruschenko A, Gutterman DD, Beyer AM. Visualization and quantification of mitochondrial structure in the endothelium of intact arteries. Cardiovasc Res. 2019 Aug 1;115(10):1546-1556. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvy294. PMID: 30476208; PMCID: PMC6648341.

Nelson MES, McGuire JR. Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy in Patients With Multiple Sclerosis: Improved Outcomes and Reduced Costs Through Identification of Catheter Malfunction. Neuromodulation. 2019 Oct;22(7):839-842. doi: 10.1111/ner.12974. Epub 2019 Jun 3. PMID: 31157471.

Durand, M.J., Beckert, A.K., Peterson, C.Y. et al. You Are Only as Frail as Your Arteries: Prehabilitation of Elderly Surgical Patients. Curr Anesthesiol Rep 9, 380–386 (2019).

Forseth B, Papanek PE, Bandini L, Schoeller D, Moosreiner A, Sawin KJ, Zvara K, Fendrich M, Polfuss M. Feasibility and Acceptability of a Self-Report Activity Diary in Families of Children With and Without Special Needs. Compr Child Adolesc Nurs. 2019 Dec;42(4):293-303. doi: 10.1080/24694193.2019.1606864. Epub 2019 Jun 14. PMID: 31199888; PMCID: PMC6915061.

Nelson MES, Orr M. Digital rectal stimulation as an intervention in persons with spinal cord injury and upper motor neuron neurogenic bowel. An evidenced-based systematic review of the literature. J Spinal Cord Med. 2019 Dec 6:1-8. doi: 10.1080/10790268.2019.1696077. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 31809250.


Kadlec AO, Barnes C, Durand MJ, Gutterman DD. Microvascular Adaptations to Exercise: Protective Effect of PGC-1 Alpha. Am J Hypertens. 2018 Jan 12;31(2):240-246. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpx162. PMID: 29140431; PMCID: PMC5861535.

Liu XC, Embrey D, Tassone C, Zvara K, Brandsma B, Lyon R, Goodfriend K, Tarima S, Thometz J. Long-Term Effects of Orthoses Use on the Changes of Foot and Ankle Joint Motions of Children With Spastic Cerebral Palsy. PM R. 2018 Mar;10(3):269-275. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2017.08.438. Epub 2017 Sep 1. PMID: 28867667.

Kim W, Lee L, Lans D, Tostenrude D, Lee K. Perception of Employment by the Veterans Participating in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games: A Survey Study. PM R. 2018 Mar;10(3):263-268. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2017.09.002. Epub 2017 Sep 20. PMID: 28939461.

Liu XC, Embrey D, Tassone C, Zvara K, Brandsma B, Lyon R, Goodfriend K, Tarima S, Thometz J. Long-Term Effects of Orthoses Use on the Changes of Foot and Ankle Joint Motions of Children With Spastic Cerebral Palsy. PM R. 2018 Mar;10(3):269-275. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2017.08.438. Epub 2017 Sep 1. PMID: 28867667.

Ma C, Beyer AM, Durand M, Clough AV, Zhu D, Norwood Toro L, Terashvili M, Ebben JD, Hill RB, Audi SH, Medhora M, Jacobs ER. Hyperoxia Causes Mitochondrial Fragmentation in Pulmonary Endothelial Cells by Increasing Expression of Pro-Fission Proteins. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2018 Mar;38(3):622-635. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.117.310605. Epub 2018 Feb 1. PMID: 29419407; PMCID: PMC5823793.

Hyngstrom AS, Murphy SA, Nguyen J, Schmit BD, Negro F, Gutterman DD, Durand MJ. Ischemic conditioning increases strength and volitional activation of paretic muscle in chronic stroke: a pilot study. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2018 May 1;124(5):1140-1147. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01072.2017. Epub 2018 Feb 8. PMID: 29420152; PMCID: PMC6050199.

Freed JK, Durand MJ. There is no way to sugar coat it, you are getting older. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2018 Sep 1;315(3):H632-H633. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00313.2018. Epub 2018 Jun 15. PMID: 29906230.

Tinklenberg J, Beatka M, Bain JLW, Siebers EM, Meng H, Pearsall RS, Lawlor MW, Riley DA. Use Of Ankle Immobilization In Evaluating Treatments To Promote Longitudinal Muscle Growth In Mice. Muscle Nerve. 2018 Nov;58(5):718-725. doi: 10.1002/mus.26296. Epub 2018 Oct 2. PMID: 29981243; PMCID: PMC6246800.

Del Toro D, Nelson PA. Guiding Treatment for Foot Pain. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2018 Nov;29(4):783-792. doi: 10.1016/j.pmr.2018.06.012. Epub 2018 Sep 14. PMID: 30293631.

Connelly P, List C. The Effect of Understanding Issues of Personal Finance on the Well-being of Physicians in Training. WMJ. 2018 Oct;117(4):164-166. PMID: 30407767.

Braza DW, Iverson M, Lee K, Hennessy C, Nelson D. Promoting Physical Activity by Creating Awareness of Adaptive Sports and Recreation Opportunities: An Academic-Community Partnership Perspective. Prog Community Health Partnersh. 2018;12(2):165-172. doi: 10.1353/cpr.2018.0036. PMID: 30270226.

Murphy SA, Negro F, Farina D, Onushko T, Durand M, Hunter SK, Schmit BD, Hyngstrom A. Stroke increases ischemia-related decreases in motor unit discharge rates. J Neurophysiol. 2018 Dec 1;120(6):3246-3256. doi: 10.1152/jn.00923.2017. Epub 2018 Oct 31. PMID: 30379629; PMCID: PMC6337044.


Simpson DM, Patel AT, Alfaro A, Ayyoub Z, Charles D, Dashtipour K, Esquenazi A, Graham GD, McGuire JR, Odderson I. OnabotulinumtoxinA Injection for Poststroke Upper-Limb Spasticity: Guidance for Early Injectors From a Delphi Panel Process. PM R. 2017 Feb;9(2):136-148. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2016.06.016. Epub 2016 Jun 23. PMID: 27346090.

Freed, J: Durand, M; Hoffmann, B; Densmore, J; Greene, A; Gutterman, D. Mitochondria-regulated formation of endothelial extracellular vesicles shifts the mediator of flow-induced vasodilation. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2017 Feb 17.

Esquenazi A, Alfaro A, Ayyoub Z, Charles D, Dashtipour K, Graham GD, McGuire JR, Odderson IR, Patel AT, Simpson DM. OnabotulinumtoxinA for Lower Limb Spasticity: Guidance From a Delphi Panel Approach. PM R. 2017 Mar 7.

Kaushal M, Oni-Orisan A, Chen G, Li W, Leschke J, Ward BD, Kalinosky B, Budde MD, Schmit BD, Li SJ, Muqeet V, Kurpad SN. Evaluation of Whole-Brain Resting-State Functional Connectivity in Spinal Cord Injury: A Large-Scale Network Analysis Using Network-Based Statistic. J Neurotrauma. 2017 Mar 15;34(6):1278-1282. doi: 10.1089/neu.2016.4649. Epub 2017 Jan 27. PMID: 27937140.

Wissel J, Bensmail D, Ferreira JJ, Molteni F, Satkunam L, Moraleda S, Rekand T, McGuire J, Scheschonka A, Flatau-Baqué B, Simon O, Rochford ET, Dressler D, Simpson DM; TOWER study investigators. Safety and efficacy of incobotulinumtoxinA doses up to 800 U in limb spasticity: The TOWER study. Neurology. 2017 Apr 4;88(14):1321-1328. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000003789. Epub 2017 Mar 10. PMID: 28283596; PMCID: PMC5379931.

Buchanan CE, Kadlec AO, Hoch AZ, Gutterman DD, Durand MJ. Hypertension during Weight Lifting Reduces Flow-Mediated Dilation in Nonathletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2017 Apr;49(4):669-675.

Nelson LD, Furger RE, Gikas P, Lerner EB, Barr WB, Hammeke TA, Randolph C, Guskiewicz K, McCrea MA. Prospective, Head-to-Head Study of Three Computerized Neurocognitive Assessment Tools Part 2: Utility for Assessment of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Emergency Department Patients. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2017 Apr;23(4):293-303. doi: 10.1017/S1355617717000157. Epub 2017 Mar 27. PMID: 28343463; PMCID: PMC6637940.

Fritz JM, Inawat RR, Slavens BA, McGuire JR, Ziegler DW, Tarima SS, Grindel SI, Harris GF. Assessment of Kinematics and Electromyography Following Arthroscopic Single-Tendon Rotator Cuff Repair. PM R. 2017 May;9(5):464-476. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2016.08.031. Epub 2016 Sep 14. PMID: 27639653.

Mrotek LA, Bengtson M, Stoeckmann T, Botzer L, Ghez CP, McGuire J, Scheidt RA. The Arm Movement Detection (AMD) test: a fast robotic test of proprioceptive acuity in the arm. J Neuroeng Rehabil. 2017 Jun 28;14(1):64. doi: 10.1186/s12984-017-0269-3. PMID: 28659156; PMCID: PMC5490232.

Kadlec AO, Chabowski DS, Ait-Aissa K, Hockenberry JC, Otterson MF, Durand MJ, Freed JK, Beyer AM, Gutterman DD. PGC-1α (Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor γ Coactivator 1-α) Overexpression in Coronary Artery Disease Recruits NO and Hydrogen Peroxide During Flow-Mediated Dilation and Protects Against Increased Intraluminal Pressure. Hypertension. 2017 Jul;70(1):166-173. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.117.09289. Epub 2017 May 22. PMID: 28533333; PMCID: PMC5485836.

Kaushal M, Oni-Orisan A, Chen G, Li W, Leschke J, Ward D, Kalinosky B, Budde M, Schmit B, Li SJ, Muqeet V, Kurpad S. Large-Scale Network Analysis of Whole-Brain Resting-State Functional Connectivity in Spinal Cord Injury: A Comparative Study. Brain Connect. 2017 Sep;7(7):413-423. doi: 10.1089/brain.2016.0468. Epub 2017 Aug 30. PMID: 28657334.

Lukaszewicz KM, Durand MJ, Priestley JRC, Schmidt JR, Allen LA, Geurts AM, Lombard JH. Evaluation of Vascular Control Mechanisms Utilizing Video Microscopy of Isolated Resistance Arteries of Rats. J Vis Exp. 2017 Dec 5;(130):56133. doi: 10.3791/56133. PMID: 29286398; PMCID: PMC5755532.


Belanger, HG; Powell-Cope, G; Spehar, AM; McCranie, M; Klanchar, SA; Yoash-Gantz, R; Kosasih, JB; Scholten, J. The Veterans Health Administration's traumatic brain injury screen and evaluation: Practice patterns. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2016;53(6):767-780.

Beyer AM, Freed JK, Durand MJ, Riedel M, Ait-Aissa K, Green P, Hockenberry JC, Morgan RG, Donato AJ, Peleg R, Gasparri M, Rokkas CK, Santos JH, Priel E, Gutterman DD. Critical Role for Telomerase in the Mechanism of Flow-Mediated Dilation in the Human Microcirculation. Circ Res. 2016 Mar 4;118(5):856-66.

Chen S, Andary M, Buschbacher R, Del Toro D, Smith B, So Y, Zimmermann K, Dillingham TR. Electrodiagnostic reference values for upper and lower limb nerve conduction studies in adult populations. Muscle Nerve. 2016 Sep;54(3):371-7.

Dillingham T, Chen S, Andary M, Buschbacher R, Del Toro D, Smith B, Zimmermann K, So Y. Establishing high-quality reference values for nerve conduction studies: A report from the normative data task force of the American Association Of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine. Muscle Nerve. 2016 Sep;54(3):366-70.

Durand MJ, Zinkevich NS, Riedel M, Gutterman DD, Nasci VL, Salato VK, Hijjawi JB, Reuben CF, North PE, Beyer AM. Vascular Actions of Angiotensin 1-7 in the Human Microcirculation: Novel Role for Telomerase. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2016 Jun;36(6):1254-62.

Gutterman DD, Chabowski DS, Kadlec AO, Durand MJ, Freed JK, Ait-Aissa K, Beyer AM. The Human Microcirculation: Regulation of Flow and Beyond. Circ Res. 2016 Jan 8;118(1):157-72.

Krajnak K, Raju SG, Miller GR, Johnson C, Waugh S, Kashon ML, Riley DA. Long-term daily vibration exposure alters current perception threshold (CPT) sensitivity and myelinated axons in a rat-tail model of vibration-induced injury. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2016;79(3):101-11.

LaRoche AA, Nelson LD, Connelly PK, Walter KD, McCrea MA. Sport-Related Concussion Reporting and State Legislative Effects. Clin J Sport Med 2016 Jan;26(1):33-9.

Research Committees and Affiliations

Research Administration Committee (PM&R)

Research Administration Committee (PM&R)

The RAC is composed of Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation faculty. The RAC is under the direction of the Research Director. The department sets an annual budget to support research endeavors of faculty, fellows and residents. These funds will support pilot research proposals, attendance at national and regional meetings to present results of research and / or accept awards, and to provide assistance with publication costs.
Orthopedic Rehabilitation & Engineering Center (OREC)

Orthopedic Rehabilitation & Engineering Center (OREC)

The center was established in 1999 to facilitate research in support of the endeavors of the faculty, fellows, residents and graduate students participating in the programs of the MCW Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and of the MU School of Dentistry and the MU Department of Biomedical Engineering.

The center brings together common threads within the disciplines of engineering, biomedical sciences, materials sciences, and clinical dentistry. The result is a unique environment for interdisciplinary applied research.

Learn more
Human Motion Analysis Laboratory (Gait Lab)

Human Motion Analysis Laboratory (Gait Lab)

The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation has collaborated with the Department of Orthopaedic Medicine and Marquette University to establish the Gait Lab. An agreement with the Gait Lab allows for the use of the facility without charge for resident research. Funded research budgets provide for financial support of the gait lab.
Rehabilitation Robotic Research and Design Lab (RRRD)

Rehabilitation Robotic Research and Design Lab (RRRD)

Established in 2004, the RRRD Lab is dedicated to the design, development and therapeutic use of novel, affordable, intelligent robotic / mechatronic and domotic assistants. It is affiliated with OREC and the Falk Neurorehabilitation Center at Marquette University.

The lab is focused on:

  • Examining underlying causes of upper limb impairment after neural disease, injury or cerebral accident.
  • Discovering effective methods to retrain functional recovery on daily living activities.
  • Developing new ways of facilitating independent living in daily living environments.

Contact Us

For more information on opportunities for collaboration, questions about research at the SRC, or questions on how to support research in PM&R please contact Dr. Matt Durand.

Dr. Matt Durand