Dr. Cliff Brubaker has served as the Dean and Professor of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Science at the University of Pittsburgh since 1991. His is also a Professor of Neurological Surgery, Pitt’s School of Medicine, and a Professor in the Clinical and Translational Science Institute. He also holds two adjunct appointments as a Professor in the Robotics Institute, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University, and at the School of Life Science and Technology, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, People’s Republic of China. Dr. Brubaker, Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center Co-Director, has worked in the areas of biomechanics, rehabilitation engineering, and assistive technology for nearly 30 years. Dr. Brubaker received his PhD in Exercise Physiology from the University of Oregon.
Prior to his arrival at the University in 1991, Dr. Brubaker was a Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Human Services at the University of Virginia, where he also served as Director of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Wheelchair Mobility. He has been awarded four U.S. patents for inventions relating to mobility and seating. View a list of some of Dr. Brubaker’s publications here.
Today, Dr. Brubaker’s primary interest has been in the elaboration of the continuum of regeneration and rehabilitation. He was one of the first to acknowledge the relevance and interdependence of regeneration and rehabilitation. This effort has resulted in the establishment of ‘regenerative rehabilitation’ as an integral dimension of regenerative medicine that has become a recognized component in the spectrum of regeneration and regenerative medicine. The concept of regenerative rehabilitation has expanded and is now substantially embraced as a field of endeavor. The first projects involving regenerative rehabilitation were conducted at the University of Pittsburgh. One project was to optimize therapy for vocal fold inflammation. This was followed with a project to determine the potential for prevention and management of pressure ulcers for patients with spinal cord injury that was also based on modeling inflammation. For 3 years now, annually, a Conference on Regenerative Rehabilitation is held.
Dr. Brubaker is a founding member and past president of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) and is a fellow of both RESNA, The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), and the Biomedical Engineering Society. He became Dean of the School of Health Related Professions at the University of Pittsburgh in July of 1991. Under his leadership, the school name was changed to the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences to reflect a new focus. Most notable among changes reflecting this redirection of the school was the founding of the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology and initiation of a new PhD program in Rehabilitation Science.
Dr. Brubaker has engaged in national and international activities and serves on several boards and advisory committees of international universities. He served as Chair of the Steering Committee for Long Range Planning for the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research of the United States Department of Education. He also served on the Institute of Medicine Committee to Assess Rehabilitation Science and Engineering. The report of this committee was recently published by the National Academy Press under the title, Enabling America.