State of the Science

Reprinted from PN March 2007

This leading research facility is making great strides to improve the mobility and function of people with disabilities.

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Graham Creasey, MD, Cleveland VA Center of Excellence in Functional Electrical Stimulation, speaks with an audience member during a break at the April 2005 workshop on traumatic brain injury.
With help from the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), the Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL) aspires to become a worldwide leading institution in assistive technology (AT) and rehabilitation research and development. Directed by PVA member Rory Cooper, PhD, and Michael Boninger, MD, HERL's mission is to continuously improve the mobility and function of people with disabilities through advanced engineering in clinical research and medical rehabilitation.

HERL is a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Rehab Research and Development Center of Excellence for Wheelchairs and Associated Rehabilitation Engineering, as well as a National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)-funded Model Center on Spinal Cord Injury. In 2006, HERL became part of yet another prestigious research facility—the National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center on Quality of Life Technology (ERC on QoLT).

In 2004, HERL celebrated its tenth anniversary and published a feature-length article in PN (?Decade of Excellence,? December) about the labs' history, development, and latest research. Since then, HERL has diversified its efforts and made some significant achievements. In addition to becoming part of the ERC on QoLT, HERL has also strengthened its efforts in continuing-education seminars, educational outreach, international work, and community activities. It also has developed new collaborative relationships with other leading rehabilitation institutions, universities, and VA facilities.

Read more about major developments at HERL.


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