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Timothy Dillingham in white coat

Message From the Chair

This past year was a very successful one with many accomplishments across our three missions—patient care, teaching and research. We are flourishing as a department because of the support of Penn Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania, as well as the commitment and talent of our faculty and residents. Here are some of the highlights included in this edition:

  • the entry of Penn PM&R into the world of social media under the leadership of Dr. Jason Pan
  • expansion our cancer rehabilitation program including developing a cancer rehabilitation fellowship under the leadership of Dr. Jasmine Zheng and Dr. Betty Chernack
  • the national recognition by JAMA of our neurorehabilitation and brain injury medicine physiatrists, Dr. Randel Swanson and Dr. Stephen Hampton
  • the recognition of senior faculty members, Dr. Keith Robinson and Dr. David Lenrow as “Master Clinicians” within Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine
  • the entry of PM&R faculty and resident physicians into nationally recognized professional development programs that are sponsored by the Association of Academia Physiatrists—Dr. Adrian Popescu, Dr. Mitra Deneshar McLarney, Dr. Gregory Robbins
  • new collaborative relationships with Dr. Liliana Pezzin and Dr. Frances Shofer both of whom are experts in research methodologies
  • the recruitment by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia of Dr. Sarah (Sally) Evans as the new division chief for the pediatric rehabilitation program based within the Department of Pediatrics

Additionally, this newsletter will introduce the six in-coming postgraduate level 2 residents who will start their physiatry training in July 2019, and introduce Penn PM&R’s recently appointed chief residents, Dr. Neil Batta and Dr. Vanessa Wanjeri.

The research focus for this newsletter is on Dr. Flavia Vitale, a biomedical and chemical engineer in diagnostic nanotechnology product development, based at Penn’s Singh Center for Nanotechnology. Her research program fortifies our academic collaboration with Penn Neurology with whom Dr. Vitale was jointly recruited, building on her already established relationship with epileptologist, Dr. Brian Litt.

I invite you to enjoy this newsletter!


Timothy R. Dillingham, MD, MS
The William J. Erdman II Professor and Chair, and Physiatrist-in-Chief
Penn PM&R, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

  • Illustration of cells

    New Developments

    Recent news for the Department of PM&R's faculty and resident physicians.

  • Brain scans on lightboard

    Faculty Collaborations

    Recent collaborations between the Department of PM&R and faculty.

  • Strands of DNA and it's code

    Educational Focus

    New Postgraduate Level 2 Resident Physicians Will Start Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialty Training in July 2019.

  • Clinical focus icon

    Clinical Focus

    The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Perelman School of Medicine’s Graduate Medical Education program recently were selected as a pathway leader to participate in the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s (ACGME) Pursuing Excellence Collaborative in Patient Safety.

  • Neurons and synapses

    Research Focus

    Flavia Vitale, PhD, is a 2018 recipient of the McCabe Fund Fellow Award.

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