Fellowship Opportunities

•  Spinal Cord Injury Medicine

•  Sports and Musculoskeletal Medicine

•  Traumatic Brain Injury

•  Research (NIH Postdoctoral Fellowships in Neuropsychology & Neuroscience)

•  Research (NIDRR Fellowships in Medical Rehabilitation Outcomes Research)

•  Stroke

•  Pediatric Rehabilitation

1. Spinal Cord Injury Medicine

The Spinal Cord Injury Medicine Fellowship provides clinical experience through rotations at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, University Hospital, East Orange Veterans Hospital and Children's Specialized Hospital. The fellowship was initiated by ACGME in September 1997 and continues to be fully accredited.

Rotations include the clinical care of acute traumatic spinal cord injured individuals (at University Hospital – a level 1 trauma facility); acute and chronic rehabilitation; non-traumatic spinal cord injury (multiple sclerosis, cancer-related injury, etc); pediatric spinal cord injury; urological issues and sexuality and fertility. There are experiences including spending time with neuroradiology, and in multiple programs including, wheelchair services and Spasticity program. There is a research requirement with mentorship and guidance given. The duration of the fellowship is one year.

The program has been having two fellows per year. After becoming board certified in Spinal Cord Injury Medicine, our previous graduates have moved directly into positions with a specialized focus on spinal cord injury care.

Interested applicants should contact:
Steven Kirshblum, M.D., Program Director, at (973) 243-6999, or e-mail at skirshblum@kessler-rehab.com
Dr. Jeremiah Nieves at jdnieves@kessler-rehab.com

Previous Spinal Cord Injury Fellows



Program from

After graduation



Wes Chay MD



Shepherd Center


Amanda Farag MD


East Orange VA

East Orange VA


Dana Clark MD


US Physiatry (Fl)

US Physiatry (Fl)


Alice Hon MD


VA Long Beach

VA Long Beach


Jayne Donovan MD



Kessler Institute


Margaret Jones MD

Univ of Washington

Univ of Washington

Univ of Washington


Olivia Park MD


Indiana University

Indiana University


Ryan Solinksy MD

Univ of Washington




Michelle Didesch MD


Univ of Pittsburgh



Beverly Hon MD


 JFK Rehab

 JFK Rehab


Jing Wang MD

Univ of Michigan

Rancho Los Amigos

Rancho Los Amigos






2. PM&R Musculoskeletal Fellowship in Sports, Spine, and Occupational Rehabilitation.

This fellowship is the only PM&R musculoskeletal fellowship for UMDNJ: New Jersey Medical School (NJMS). This fellowship is located in northeastern New Jersey, including the busy outpatient PM&R musculoskeletal practice on the UMDNJ: NJMS campus, as well as opportunity for rotation time within private practice settings in the area.

The fellowship also includes opportunities for education and teaching at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, in West Orange New Jersey.

The co-Directors of the fellowship are Todd Stitik, M.D. and Patrick Foye, M.D., who are both on faculty at UMDNJ: New Jersey Medical School. Both of these physicians have won awards for their teaching within medical education.

The Fellowship includes a balance of outpatient musculoskeletal care, sports medicine (treating injured athlete, etc.), spine care (including training in interventional procedures, injections, etc.), occupational rehabilitation (treating injured workers, under workers compensation), training in various peripheral limb injections, etc.

Interested applicants should contact Ms. Doreen Muhammad, E-mail: prmresid@njms.rutgers.edu

3.  Traumatic Brain Injury


The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School and Kessler Foundation Research Center (KFRC) are recruiting candidates for a one year clinical fellowship in Traumatic Brain Injury Medicine. This program is the site of several large clinical and research programs, including the Northern New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems as well as the site of the TBI Model Systems National Data Center .

Rotations are designed to allow the fellow to be exposed and be allowed to manage patients throughout the spectrum of brain injury care. They include management of acute traumatic brain injury on a consultation and primary neurosurgery service, acute and sub-acute rehabilitation, neuroradiology, neuropsychology and pediatric traumatic brain injury. There is also protected research time and an expectation of completion of a research project during the fellowship year.

With its hospital affiliations and connection with KFRC, the fellow will be able to participate in state of the art rehabilitation research activities in many areas including, neuropharmacology, spasticity management, and functional imaging.

Outpatient experiences will include neuropharmacology and behavioral management, spasticity clinic, neurotrauma clinic, injection with botulinum toxins; intrathecal baclofen pump management and routine post injury follow up. In addition, there will be extensive didactic training involving all areas of traumatic brain injury including pathophysiology, spasticity management, epidemiology, pharmacology, outcome, prognostication, seizure management and an ongoing journal club.

For more information contact:

Neil Jasey, M.D.
Kessler Foundation Research Center
1199 Pleasant Valley Way

West Orange , New Jersey 07052

Telephone: (973) 414-4768
Fax: (973) 243-6861

Previous Traumatic Brain Injury Fellows

UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School and Kessler Foundation Research Center are Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employers. Women, members of under-represented minority groups, and individuals with physical disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.

4. Research (NIDDR-funded Postdoctoral Fellowships in Neuropsychology & Neuroscience)
The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation offers one- or two-year post-doctoral fellowships in rehabilitation research. Funding is provided through the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). Fellows with training in Physiatry, Neurology, Neuropsychology, Clinical Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience are eligible. We are requesting applicants for a 75% research-25% clinical, one- or two-year postdoctoral fellowship training positions for 2011/2012. The major purpose of the program is to train young scientists in the multidisciplinary skills needed to improve the scientific basis of medical rehabilitation and to advance knowledge of the efficacy of treatment for persons with central nervous system disease or injury. This is accomplished by providing mentored training opportunities for scientists and clinicians in clinically-oriented rehabilitation research with patients with neurological illness or injury. Fellows are expected to spend at least 75% (and up to 100%) of their time working on research projects ranging from inception (e.g., study formulation, grant-writing, etc.) to manuscript publication. There is also an emphasis on developing grant-writing skills. Current areas of significant interest include (but are not limited to) functional neuroimaging, virtual reality technology and its application to rehabilitation, and applying principles of cognitive science to rehabilitation populations.

Interested applicants should contact:
Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, Program Director, at (973) 324-8440 or e-mail at nchiaravalloti@kesslerfoundation.org.

Previous Physician Research Fellows

5. Research (NIDRR Fellowships in Medical Rehabilitation Outcomes Research)

Fellowships in Rehabilitation Outcomes Research are offered in conjunction with the Kessler Foundation Research Center , Center for Outcomes Research. Funding is provided through the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research . These research-training positions are intended for professionals interested in research on the efficacy and effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions; on objective and subjective outcomes experienced by persons with physical or neurological disabilities; on quality improvement; or on clinical policy issues. Fellows improve their research skills and, if necessary, knowledge of clinical rehabilitation through optional coursework, directed readings, and or/clinical experience. They present their results both locally and at national and international conferences, and are expected to publish results in peer-reviewed journals. Physicians, especially physiatrists, are strongly encouraged to apply.

Positions are for either one or two years. The training program is based on individualized Research and Training Plans written by each fellow in collaboration with a primary and secondary mentor. Mentors may be chosen from among researchers and clinician/researchers associated with the PM&R Department of UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School and affiliated organizations, including the Kessler Medical Rehabilitation Research and Education Corporation. The program offers special strengths in outcomes measurement, research design, physiatry, social psychology, physical therapy, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and other neurological disabilities.

The Center for Outcomes Research is home to the Northern New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury Model System funded by NIDRR, and KFRC is one of only ten centers to house NIDRR-funded model systems in both spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury. Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation has also been consistently ranked among the top five rehabilitation hospitals in the United States , and the UMDNJ/NJMS Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and KFRC are recognized as premier training sites for clinicians and researchers in medical rehabilitation.

For further information contact:
Mark Johnston, Ph.D., Program Director, at (973) 243-6810 or e-mail at mjohnston@kesslerfoundation.org .

For application forms and instructions, contact:
Heidi Workman at (973) 243-6971 or e-mail at hworkman@kesslerfoundation.org

Previous Post-Doctoral Fellows

6. Stroke

The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), and the New Jersey Medical School, in coordination with Kessler Foundation Research Center (KFRC), are accepting applications for a one-year Stroke Rehabilitation Fellowship.

The fellowship is available for a residency-trained physiatrist, neurologist, or internist wishing to gain strong skills in the treatment of major stroke syndromes, cognitive disability and spasticity.  Fellows rotate through stroke and brain injury services at Kessler Institute of Rehabilitation and
UMDNJ, learn botulinum toxin injection and other techniques for managing spasticity and dystonia, and will participate in research studies at KFRC.

Potential extension into a second year is available for fellows wishing to gain further research experience.  Applicants must be eligible for New Jersey state medical licensure. With hospital affiliations and connection with KFRC, the fellow will be able to participate in state-of-the-art stoke rehabilitation and rehabilitation research activities.

UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School and Kessler Foundation Research Center are Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employers. Women, members of under-represented minority groups, and individuals with physical disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.

Name: Anna Barrett MD
Title: Director, Stroke Rehabilitation Research and
 Fellowship Coordinator
Phone: (973) 243-6978
Fax: (973) 243-6984

7. Pediatric Rehabilitation

Pediatric Rehabilitation Fellowship
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Children’s Specialized Hospital
Mountainside, New Jersey

The fellowship in pediatric rehabilitation through Rutgers, NJMS is an accredited, dynamic two-year program offered every other year at Children's Specialized Hospital. 

The field of pediatric rehabilitation is specialized and diverse, given that the populations served can vary from infants to young adults, and the needs of these populations encompass a wide range of care. Pediatric physiatry addresses those disorders potentially affecting children on a long-term basis, often involving multiple body systems. The emphasis is on helping patients achieve developmental skills and independence in self-care and mobility appropriate to their age. The fellowship develops expertise in diagnosis and specific management techniques, and also addresses the role of the physiatrist as coordinator of multiple services, be they medical, social or educational, as well as the importance of acting as a liaison and advocate for the child and family. The fellowship includes patient responsibilities in both inpatient and outpatient settings, with the common goal of meeting the medical and emotional needs of patients and their families.

Patient conditions seen include brain injuries (traumatic and non-traumatic), spinal cord dysfunction (including traumatic spinal cord injury and spina bifida), cerebral palsy, multiple trauma, orthopedic disorders, neuromuscular disorders, burns, and chronic pain.  Emphasis is given to working with and directing a multi-disciplinary team, including therapists, psychologists, orthotists, case managers, social workers, nurses, and other physicians to implement high quality, goal-oriented care for children challenged by special healthcare needs.

The Pediatric Physiatry fellow works closely with the attending staff to become proficient in clinical care.  The attending staff includes Michael Armento, MD, Program Director, JenFu Cheng, MD, Section Chief of Physiatry, Katherine Bentley, MD, Associate Program Director, Martin Diamond, MD, Michelle Fantasia, MD, Director of inpatient Spinal Cord Unit and Marykatharine Nutini, DO.  The attending staff has a wide variety of expertise, including Dr. Cheng-Adaptive sports, Dr. Bentley-Pain management, Dr. Diamond-EMG, and Drs. Armento and Fantasia-Spinal Cord Dysfunction. 

The fellow will gain experience in many different clinical settings, including at our 68 bed state of the art inpatient rehabilitation hospital- PSEG Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick, Children’s Specialized Hospital outpatient center in Mountainside, NJ as well as attending clinics at many of the special needs schools in New Jersey that we service.  In addition the fellow will attend pertinent pediatric subspecialty clinics to broaden the scope of their knowledge and experience.

There is extensive exposure to neurolytic procedures including alcohol nerve blocks and Botox injections.  The physiatry department utilizes ultrasound guided technique for the Botox injections, which the fellow will master by the time of graduation.

In addition to the outstanding clinic experience, there is a strong didactic and teaching component.  The fellow will work closely with the residents from the Rutgers NJMS PM&R program as well as medical students from Rutgers NJMS and residents from the JFK Rehabilitation Program.  The fellow is also given the opportunity to attend the Kessler Review Course. 

In order to facilitate research, the fellow has the assistance of Post-Doc fellows as well as the Kessler research department in developing, preparing and carrying out their research project.

The fellowship was granted accreditation in 2011 for subspecialty certification in Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine.  Graduating fellows are board-eligible and sit for the Pediatric Rehabilitation Board Examination after completing the program.  The fellowship is listed under Rutgers NJMS on the ERAS and NRMP.

For further information contact:
Michael Armento, M.D., Program Director, at (908) 301-5416 or e-mail at: marmento@childrens-specialized.org

Physiatry Department:
Michael Armento, MD: http://www.childrens-specialized.org/physician-directory/michael-j-armento-md
Katherine Bentley, MD: http://www.childrens-specialized.org/physician-directory/katherine-bentley-md
JenFu Cheng, MD: http://www.childrens-specialized.org/physician-directory/jenfu-cheng-md
Martin Diamond, MD: http://www.childrens-specialized.org/physician-directory/martin-diamond-md
Michelle Fantasia, MD: http://www.childrens-specialized.org/physician-directory/michele-fantasia-md
Marykatharine Nutini, DO: http://www.childrens-specialized.org/physician-directory/marykatharine-nutini-do

Fellow Graduates:
Michael Armento, MD, 1993
Robert Vrablik, MD, 1996
JenFu Cheng, MD, 2005
Maya Evans, MD, 2011
Katherine Bentley, MD,  2013
Adam Bartlett, MD, 2016

Previous Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Fellows