Research & Clinical Trials

Innovations in Clinical Care at Spaulding

The Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, led by Dr. Ross Zafonte, Chair of the Harvard Medical School's Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, has an ambitious research agenda that has further enhanced its standing as a national leader in recovery research. Many of these research efforts have led to innovations in clinical care.


  • The work of Dr. Joe Giacino, a nationally renowned neuropyschologist and researcher, has been instrumental in establishing a case definition for the minimally conscious state. He is establishing a program for Rehabilitation Neuropsychology and is exploring new novel treatments methods for patient with severe acquired brain injury and for those in a minimally conscious state. Learn more about the Disorders of Consciousness Program.
  • Dr. Andrew Taylor has looked into bone density and cardiovascular health for persons with paralysis and introduced an innovative method of exercise using Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) rowing, which has shown impressive findings and resulted in the established of Spaulding's Exercise for Persons with Disabilities Program (ExPD).
  • The Spaulding National Running Center, established by Dr. Irene Davis, is comprised of a running injury clinic and running research laboratory where clinicians and researchers focus on the treatment and prevention of running-related, musculoskeletal injuries.
  • Spaulding is proud to be one of only a select few rehabilitation hospitals nationally to hold Model System distinctions simultaneously in the three designations of Brain, Burn and Spinal Cord Injury awarded by NIDRR. Each Model Systems site contributes to the national Model Systems Database for a better understanding of long-term health outcomes.
  • The Motion Analysis Lab is led by Dr. Paolo Bonato and is internationally-recognized for its role in developing innovative robotic therapies and wearable technologies with the goal of helping patients achieve faster and more effective rehabilitation. Among other projects, the lab is working on several interactive games that may help rehabilitate patients more effectively, as well as wearable systems that can assess a patient’s rehabilitation gains at home. The lab’s current studies have resulted in a number of new assessment and rehabilitation methods including new robots that can detect falls at home, rehabilitate stroke and traumatic brain injury survivors and devices that can help children with cerebral palsy to learn how to walk more efficiently.

The strength to innovate permeates the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network. With novel research approaches and ground breaking technology, the convergence of science and care at Spaulding provides patients and families unparalleled access to the most advanced rehabilitation medicine.

Best Hospital 2018/2019

Spaulding is ranked 2nd in the country among rehabilitation hospitals by US News & World Report.

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Clinical Trials at Spaulding
RSVP for Health - Clinical Trials at Spaulding

Spaulding is part of Partners HealthCare's Clinical Research Network.  Enrollment opportunities exist across many therapeutic categories.

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