RehabWeek 2017 - Speakers

RehabWeek Keynote Speakers


The four RehabWeek conferences will unite for six keynote lectures. We are very much looking forward to presentations from the following international experts and leaders.​


Dale Hull​, Neuroworx​

Pleased but not Satisfied: My personal experience with paralysis and rehabilitation

(20.7.2017, 08:30 - 10:15)​

​Dr. Dale Hull currently serves as the executive director of Neuroworx. He graduated from the University of Utah School of Medicine in 1985. Following graduation, he completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Utah Medical Center. He practiced general obstetrics and gynecology for ten years in the south portion of the Salt Lake metropolitan area. In 1999, he suffered a spinal-cord injury that resulted in paralysis from the neck down. This life-altering event, which prevented him from returning to active practice, required Dr. Hull to devote approximately three-and-a-half years to his rehabilitation. His physical therapist during this time was Jan Black. He was fortunate to have an early return of neurological function. With hard work and Jan's expert guidance, he was able to take advantage of that return to make significant progress. Dale and Jan realized there was an unmet need to provide others with access to the extraordinary rehabilitation he had experienced. He joined his therapist in forming a non-profit organization and opening Neuroworx in 2004. During 2002, Dale had the opportunity to be an Olympic torchbearer for the Salt Lake Winter Olympics. In 2009, he completed an underwater marathon in the Neuroworx pool to commemorate the ten-year mark of his injury. Neuroworx: Dale Hull TEDx:

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Volker Hömberg, Gesundheitszentrum Bad Wimpfen

(19.7.2017, 08:30 - 10:15)​

The organizers of RehabWeek invited the WFNR, who is the patron of RehabWeek, to choose and invite one of the Keynote Speakers. We are very happy that the WFNR choose Prof. Volker Hömberg, Secretary General as their representative for RehabWeek 2017.

Prof. Hömberg did his medical education at the Universities of Düsseldorf, Freiburg and Boston Massachusetts. After spending an elective in Neurology at Boston City Hospital and the National Hospital of Nerves Diseases Queens Square London he was a research fellow at the C. and O. Vogt Institute for Brain Research in Düsseldorf. In 1981 he started a residency in neurology with Prof. Hans Freund at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. In 1987 he was appointed Director of the Neurological Therapy Centre at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf. He was also founding Director of the NTC in Cologne and many other outpatient rehabilitation centers in Germany. In 2001 he started the St. Mauritius Therapy Clinic in Meerbusch near Düsseldorf and since 2011 he is Director of the Dept. of Neurology at the Gesundheitszentrum Bad Wimpfen and works for the SRH-Group.

He was founder president and vice president of the German Society for Neurorehabilitation and serves as Secretary General for the World Federation and Vice President of the European Federation of Neurorehabilitation Societies.

He has published more than 250 articles in international peer reviewed journals and many book chapters. His primary interest in neurology is in the field of motor rehabilitation cognition and pharmacology.

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Michelle Johnson
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Towards Accessible Stroke Rehabilitation using Affordable Robot/Mechatronic Technologies in Low and Middle Income Countries

(20.7.2017, 13:45 - 15:15)​

​My research is mainly in the area of robot-mediated rehabilitation. I am focused on the investigation and rehabilitation of dysfunction due to aging, neural disease, and neural injury. I am particularly interested in 1) exploring the relationships between brain plasticity and behavioral/motor control changes after robot-assisted interventions; 2)quantifying motor impairment and motor control of the upper limb in real world tasks such as drinking; and 3) defining the methods to maintain therapeutic effectiveness while administering local and remote, robot-mediated interventions. 
I direct the Rehabilitation Robotics Lab. This is a new Lab within the Department of Physical, Medicine, and Rehabilitation in the Perelman School of Medicine. The Rehabilitation Robotics Lab mission is to use robotics,rehabilitation,and neuroscience techniques to translate research findings into the development of assistive and therapeutic rehabilitation robots capable of functioning in real-world rehabilitation environments. Our goal is to improve the quality of life and function on activities of daily living (ADLs) of our target population in supervised or under-supervised settings.

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Jianan Li 

Medical Rehabilitation Center, First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, China

Clinical application of rehabilitation robotics

(19.7.2017, 13:45 - 15:15)​

Jianan Li is a professor and chief doctor in rehabilitation medicine working as Chair of the Center of Rehabilitation Medicine, Jiangsu Province Hospital and President of the Zhongshan Rehabilitation Hospital, Nanjing, China. 
He is an international associate of National Academy of Medicine, USA and the Immediate past President, International Society of Physical and Rehab Medicine as well as the associated editor, Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine. He is also President, the Chinese Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Chief Editor, Chinese Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine.
Chet Moritz, University of Washington​​​

Translation of neural devices to promote plasticity and recovery following central nervous system injury 

(18.7.2017, 08:45 - 10:15)​

​Dr. Chet Moritz is a UW associate professor in the Division of Physical Therapy, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. Dr. Moritz is developing treatments for paralysis using brain-computer interfaces and neurotechnology. Motor paralysis from stroke or spinal cord injury can be severe and long-lasting, despite damage to a relatively small area of the nervous system. Our goal is to develop neuroprosthetic devices capable of bypassing these damaged areas and restoring volitional control of movement to paralyzed limbs. We have recently demonstrated that this approach is feasible by using activity recorded from motor cortex to directly control electrical stimulation of paralyzed muscles. In addition to replacing lost motor function, we are also attempting to guide and promote the regeneration of damaged neural tissue. Targeted electrical microstimulation can be used to increase the strength of synaptic connections among neurons via mechanisms of Hebbian plasitcity. We are investigating whether this synchronous stimulation, applied across an injury site, can guide neurons to make connections with appropriate targets. We are also testing novel methods for the physical therapy and rehabilitation of movement disorders. We have developed a portable visual feedback device to train children with cerebral palsy (CP) to produce functional muscle synergies. By connecting the activity of impaired muscles to control the movements of popular computer games, we are able to improve volitional control of coordinated muscle activity. For more information, please see:

​​Schweighofer-Web.jpgNicolas Schweighofer, University of Southern California​​

Virtuous or vicious cycle between arm use and performance post-stroke

(18.7.2017, 13:45 - 15:15)​

​The goal of the work on neuro-computational models is to understand the neural bases of motor learning. We are notably investigating motor plasticity in the cerebellum, cortical map plasticity and reorganization in the sensorimotor cortex, multiple task learning, and adaptive decision-making during motor learning in healthy and lesioned brains. When appropriate, we test our predictions by conducting behavioral and/or brain imaging (fMRI and TMS) experiments either at USC or with our collaborators at ATR in Japan or at INSERM in France. The goal of the work on learning optimization is to enhance re-learning of motor skills in patients with stroke. Despite great progress in psychology and neuroscience, physical therapists treating patients with stroke rely on non-specific guidelines to determine task practice schedules for functional motor skill re-acquisition. Using algorithms that combine neuroscience-based models and artificial intelligence, we aim at defining and testing adaptive practice schedules, with particular emphasis on the micro-schedules of the practice. USC faculty: Lab:​

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