Fellowship Opportunities

•  Spinal Cord Injury Medicine

•  Traumatic Brain Injury

•  Research (NIH Postdoctoral Fellowships in Neuropsychology & Neuroscience)

•  Pediatric Rehabilitation

•  Cancer 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
Jeremiah Nieves, M.D., Associate Program Director, jdnieves@kessler-rehab.com
Brittany Snider, M.D., Associate Program Director, BSnider@kessler-rehab.com

Previous Spinal Cord Injury Fellows
The program started in the mid 1990's. The last decade of graduates are in the table below. All graduates can be seen in this link



Program from

After graduation


Wesley Chay MD




Amanda Farag MD

Rutgers Health/NJMS/Kessler

East Orange VA


Dana Clark MD


US Physiatry (Fl)


Alice Hon MD

Rutgers Health/NJMS/Kessler

VA Long Beach

Jayne Donovan MD




Margaret Jones MD

Univ of Washington

Univ of Washington

Olivia Park MD


Indiana University


Michelle Didesch

Rutgers Health/NJMS/Kessler

Univ. of Pittsburgh Med Center

Ryan Solinsky MD

Univ of Washington



Beverly Hon MD

Rutgers Health/NJMS/Kessler

JFK Rehab

Jing Wang MD

Univ of Michigan

Rancho Los Amigos


Katherine Gibbs DO


Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation

Katharine Tam MD

Northwestern/Shirley Ryan

St Louis VA


Brittany Snider DO

Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic

Amanda Miller DO

Washington Univ. in St Louis

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation


Shelly Hsieh MD

Rutgers Health/NJMS/Kessler

Burke Rehabilitation

John Lopez DO

Univ of Kentucky               

Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation


Courtney Gilbert MD 

Rutgers Health/NJMS/Kessler 

Spaulding/Boston, MA 

Vera Staley MD 

Univ of Colo School of Medicine         

Denver Health, Denver, Colorado 


Druvil Brahmbhatt, MD

Emory University School of Medicine

Luisville VA

Lindy Gunawan, DO

OPTI West Program

Rancho Los Amigos, CA

2.  Traumatic Brain Injury

The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Rutgers Health/New Jersey Medical School and Kessler Foundation (KF) 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

3. Research (Postdoctoral Fellowships in Neuropsychology & Neuroscience)

The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation offers two-year post-doctoral fellowships in rehabilitation research. These funded programs aim to prepare clinician-scientists for a career in clinical research focusing on traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis and pediatric work. Training opportunities are provided more broadly across multiple departments, capitalizing on unique opportunities throughout the center as well as other nearby centers of excellence throughout New Jersey to pursue key clinical and research training goals. All fellows participate in an extensive training curriculum and didactic offerings. Multidisciplinary mentored training opportunities are individually tailored to achieve specific goals considering the fellows’ prior background and interests. The Pediatric Neuropsychology Fellowship is offered in conjunction with Children’s Specialized Hospital.

The successful applicant would be expected to assist in ongoing endeavors as well as develop his/her own mentored research projects. There are opportunities for fellows to join existing programs of research including functional neuroimaging, the assessment and rehabilitation of cognitive symptoms, functional outcomes research, cross-cultural work, virtual reality, emotional processing and fatigue research. Fellows work on various aspects of research projects ranging from inception (e.g., study formulation, grant-writing, etc.) to manuscript publication. Clinical opportunities involve assessment and treatment of outpatient rehabilitation populations under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. Additional offerings are made possible through strong collaborations with additional centers including, Rutgers University, Children’s Specialized Hospital, Veterans Administration New Jersey Healthcare System, and New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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

Previous Post-Doctoral Fellows

4. 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 addresses the role of the physiatrist as coordinator of multiple services.  These services include medical, social, and educational.  The importance of acting as a liaison and advocate for the child and family is emphasized. 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: 

Katherine Bentley MD, Program Director, Director Chronic Pain Program, Director CME 

Michael Armento, MD, Resident Liaison  

Michelle Fantasia, MD, Director of Inpatient Spinal Cord Unit 

Marykatharine Nutini, DO.  Long Term Care Liaison 

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.  These procedures are done at Newark Beth Israel Hospital, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and in the outpatient offices.  

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.  

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: 

Katherine Bentley, M.D., Program Director, at (201)-306-6231 or e-mail at: kbentley@childrens-specialized.org 

Physiatry Department
Katherine Bentley, MD: http://www.childrens-specialized.org/physician-directory/katherine-bentley-md 

Michael Armento, MD: http://www.childrens-specialized.org/physician-directory/michael-j-armento-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:
1992 - 1993    Michael Armento, MD  
1995 – 1996    Robert Vrablik, MD 
2003 - 2005    JenFu Cheng, MD 
2009 - 2011    Maya Evans, MD 
2011 - 2013    Katherine Bentley, MD 
2014 - 2016    Adam Bartlett, MD 
2016 - 2018    Brian Lee, MD   

5. Cancer Rehabilitation 

Cancer rehabilitation is a subspecialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation dedicated to the identification, evaluation, and rehabilitation of neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, pain and function impairments in cancer survivors at any stage of disease from diagnosis through palliative care and survivorship.  There are currently more than 17 million cancer survivors in the United States.  This number is expected to exceed 22 million by 2030.  Even though function-limiting sequelae of cancer and its treatment affects more than 50% of survivors, only 1-2% receive rehabilitation treatment.  There is an urgent and growing need for physicians specializing in cancer rehabilitation to help ensure these patients receive safe, comprehensive, and effective rehabilitation services. 

The newly formed Cancer Rehabilitation Fellowship, with clinical experiences at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation (Kessler) through the department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, will equip trainees to restore cancer survivors of all types and at any stage of disease to their highest possible level of function and quality of life.  Fellows will learn to analyze and incorporate the complex elements of cancer and its treatments into their plan of care.  A key population served at Kessler include patients with radiation late effects – one of the most complex and challenging groups of cancer survivors.  Fellows will train in all aspects of functional management of cancer survivors including pain, fatigue, lymphedema, spasticity, neuropathy, plexopathy, spinal cord injury, and CNS dysfunction management.  Comprehensive pain management including therapy prescription, medications (including opioids), and procedures will be foundational to this fellowship and include botulinum toxin injection and other interventions specific to the cancer survivor population.   

Rotations will include outpatient clinic at Kessler under the direct supervision of Dr. Michael Stubblefield, observations in outside clinics (medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, urology), inpatient consultation, an independent clinic, and inpatient experience.  There will be didactic educational sessions including multidisciplinary cancer team rounds and grand rounds as well as a research component.     

Interest applicants should contact: 
Michael Stubblefield, M.D., Program Director at mstubblefield@selectmedical.com

Please use this link to access the Cancer Rehab application

It is highly recommended to submit on or before August 15th to give adequate time for programs to review your application and arrange for an interview. Programs may accept applications on a case-by-case basis after this date.