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Our Research Investigators

  • Dawn Neumann, PhD, FACRM

    Research Director
    Director of the IU Interactive and Functional Assessment of Communication and Emotion (InterFACE) Center

    • Joined
      Staff In
      2010

    Research Director

    About

    Dr. Neumann has her Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science from SUNY Buffalo, and MA in Cognitive Psychology from Rutgers NJ. Dr. Neumann began working with patients who have had a traumatic brain injury in 1995 as a cognitive therapist. Working in a variety of settings with patients, she realized that the emotional problems were often more challenging than the cognitive ones. With no practice standards at the time for treating these issues, this prompted her to go back to school to learn more about developing and evaluating the efficacy of treatments for people with brain injury. Dr. Neumann’s research aims to identify mechanisms underlying social cognition and emotion regulation deficits after traumatic brain injury (TBI), as well as to determine evidence-based treatment approaches for these problems. Dr. Neumann has been very active with the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) since 2007 and and has been serving on the editorial review board for the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation since 2012. Dr. Neumann is also an Associate Professor at Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

    Honors & Awards
    • Psi Chi National Honor Society, 1995
    • 2nd Place Poster Presentation, A universal similarity function?: magnitude estimates for face-like exemplars, 1998
    • Selected participant for the Enhancing Rehabilitation Research in the South (ERRIS) 2009 workshop program
    • Recipient of the Mark Diamond Research Fund award, 2006
    • Recipient of National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research Mary E. Switzer Merit Fellowship, 2011
    • Recipient of American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine Deborah L. Wilkerson Early Career Award (ACRM), 2013
    • Prestigious External Award Recognition recipient, IUPUI, 2014
    • Fellow, American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) October 2017
    • ACRM Mitchell Rosenthal Mid-Career Award, October 2018
    Education & Experience
    Education

    2010 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Carolinas Rehabilitation, PMR

    2008 Ph.D. Rehabilitation Science, University at Buffalo (SUNY )

    1999 MA Cognitive Psychology, Rutgers, NJ

    1995 B.A. Psychology, Richard Stockton College of NJ

    Location
  • Flora McConnell Hammond, MD

    Chief of Medical Affairs
    Brain Injury Medical Co-Director

    • Practicing
      Since
      1995
    • Joined
      Staff In
      2009

    Chief of Medical Affairs

    About

    Flora Hammond, MD joined RHI November 2009 as the Chief Medical Affairs. She is the Covalt Professor and Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Indiana University School of Medicine. From 1995-2009, she worked at Carolinas Rehabilitation in Charlotte, North Carolina where she served as the Brain Injury Medical Director and Research Director. Dr. Hammond graduated from medical school at Tulane University School of Medicine and completed her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine. She completed a brain injury medicine fellowship at Wayne State University School of Medicine. Her research in the area of brain injury includes studying the prediction of outcome, aging with brain Injury, causes of and treatments for irritability, and quality of relationships.

    Research & Innovation
    • Covalt Professor and Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Indiana University
    • Research in the areas of brain injury iclude: prediction of outcome, aging with brain injury, causes of and treatments of irritability, and quality of relationships
    Education, Training & Certifications
    Education

    1986 Tulane University, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

    1990 Baylor College of Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency

    1994 Wayne State University, Brain Injury Medicine Fellowship

    Residency

    1990-1994 Baylor College of Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency

    Certificates & Licenses

    Board-certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician (Physiatrist)

    Location
  • Devon Parrott, PhD

    Director of the Research, Training, and Outcome Center (RTOC) for Brain Injury and Biostatistician

    • Joined
      Staff In
      2007

    Director of the Research, Training, and Outcome Center (RTOC) for Brain Injury and Biostatistician

    About

    Dr. Parrott received her doctoral degree in Biomedical Informatics from Rutgers University with an emphasis on predictive modeling and biostatistics. She holds a Master’s Degree from Purdue University in Applied Statistics and a Master’s from Arizona State University in Clinical Research. She is responsible for overseeing program evaluation, quality assurance, and fidelity models across several programs and departments at NBIC including Resource Facilitation and Neuropsychology. Her role in the RTOC for Brain Injury involves developing translational research study designs, implementing successful findings, and monitoring quality and outcomes over time through program evaluation and patient follow-up. Dr. Parrott was awarded a research grant to study the feasibility of offering an evidence-based brain injury intervention called BICS, developed at NBIC, over an electronic platform allowing patients in remote areas of the state to participate in a brain injury intervention not otherwise available. She is an active member of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Statistical Association. She has authored several publications and has presented to national and international audiences on topics related to resource facilitation, brain injury rehabilitation, and predictive modeling.

    Honors & Awards
    • 2014 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine Travel Award
    • 3rd Place, Student Research Award Competition
    • Indiana Psychological Association Top 100 Outstanding Students Award (IUPUI)
    Education & Experience
    Education

    2012 MS Clinical Research Management, Arizona State University

    2014 MS Applied Statistics, Indiana University, Purdue University in Indianapolis

    2018 PhD Biomedical Informatics, Rutgers University

    Location
  • Lance E. Trexler, PhD., FACRM

    Executive Director, Brain Injury Rehabilitation Research and Program Development

    • Practicing
      Since
      1982
    • Joined
      Staff In
      2003

    Executive Director, Brain Injury Rehabilitation Research and Program Development

    About

    Dr. Trexler is the Director, Department of Rehabilitation, Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana, Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of PM&R, Indiana University School of Medicine, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Speech and Hearing Sciences at Indiana University, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University. He is Chair, Board of Directors, Brain Injury Association of Indiana and is Chair, Board of Directors for the Indiana Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Fund, and Co-Chairs the Indiana Brain Injury Leadership Board. He is a clinical neuropsychologist by training and has been specialized in brain injury rehabilitation since 1982. His research has been focused on interventions for people with brain injury, including pharmacological, rehabilitative and social interventions. Dr. Trexler is an author on over thirty peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters. In addition to serving as a clinician in rehabilitation neuropsychology since 1979, his over-riding commitment as a neuropsychologist has been to develop and implement his research. He has been focused primarily on interventions for people with brain injury, including rehabilitative and social interventions. Dr. Trexler is an author on over forty peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters.

    Honors & Awards
    • Fellow of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, 2013
    • American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, Lifetime Achievement Award, 2010
    • American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, Distinguished Member Award, 2015
    • Top Honoree, Health Care Heroes, Advancements in Health Care, Indianapolis Business Journal, 2016
    Research & Innovation
    • Author on over 30 peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters
    • Chair, Board of Directors, Brain Injury Association of Indiana
    • Chair, Board of Directors, Indiana Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Fund
    • Co-Chair, Indiana Brain Injury Leadership Board
    Education & Experience
    Education

    1974 BA, Indiana University

    1976 MA, Ball Sate University

    1979 PhD, Purdue University

    Location
  • T. George Hornby, PhD

    Director of the Locomotor Recovery Laboratory

    • Joined
      Staff In
      2016

    Director of the Locomotor Recovery Laboratory

    About

    T. George Hornby, PhD has a background in neurophysiology, exercise science, and physical therapy, and is the Director of the Locomotor Recovery Laboratory.  The goals of his lab is to develop and test strategies that can optimize delivery of rehabilitation interventions to maximize locomotor a function in patients post-stroke, incomplete spinal cord injury, and brain injury. One research agenda to identify the appropriate training parameters (or dose) of exercise interventions that maximize improvements in neuromuscular and cardiopulmonary health and function.  We believe these physiological changes will result in improvement in performance of functional tasks, and ultimately result in increased community integration and participation.  Additional goals include the assessment of pharmacological or other exogenous stimuli on locomotor function and training efficacy. We utilize kinematic, kinetic and electrophysiological measures of motor function in intact individuals and those with neurological disease, and examine altered motor output to mechanical or electrical stimuli, pharmacological interventions, or exercise conditions. ​ He is also currently Director of Research for the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy, and has authored numerous manuscripts in neurophysiology and physical rehabilitation.

    Education & Experience
    Education

    2000 University of Pittsburgh, MPT Physical Therapy

    2000 PhD Physiological Sciences

    Location
  • Chris Henderson, PhD

    Research Assistant Professor

    • Joined
      Staff In
      2016

    Research Assistant Professor

    About

    Dr. Henderson has his PhD in Biomechanics and Movement Science, Doctorate of Physical Therapy, and Masters of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Delaware. He has also completed a Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency jointly supported by the Clement J Zablocki Veterans Affairs Hospital and Marquette University. Current projects and interests focus on optimizing physical therapy intervention parameters to facilitate improved walking function for individuals with neurologic conditions and developing strategies to translate evidence-based interventions into routine clinical practice.

    Education & Experience
    Education

    2007 BE, XX, Mechanical Engineering

    2009 MS, University of Delaware, Mechanical Engineering

    2013 DPT, University of Delaware, Physical Therapy

    2015 PhD, University of Delaware, Biomechanics and Movement

    2016-2018 Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Indiana University

    Location
  • Samantha Backhaus, PhD

    Clinical Neuropsychologist

    • Practicing
      Since
      2005
    • Joined
      Staff In
      2005

    Clinical Neuropsychologist

    About

    Samantha L. Backhaus, PhD is a Clinical Neuropsychologist at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana’s comprehensive outpatient Northwest Brain Injury Center. Her primary focus is working with adults who have acquired brain injuries, both providing neuropsychological assessments and formulating appropriate interdisciplinary treatment plans in assisting individuals reintegrate back to the community. Her passion is working with families as well, with the overall goal of the survivor achieving positive long-term outcome following brain injury. Dr. Backhaus developed a 16-week treatment intervention, the Brain Injury Coping Skills Group (BICS) that won the 2009 McDowell Award for Best Presentation presented by the American Society for Neurorehabilitation. She has completed several RTCs with publication on studies investigating this treatment and won one of the Healthcare Heroes of the Year in her community in 2001 for her work in neurorehabilitation. She is asked to teach this intervention to clinicians throughout the rehabilitation field, both nationally and internationally. She also developed a Peer Mentoring Program for brain injury survivors and family members, as well as chairs a support group called Bridging the Gap, specifically designed to meet the needs of families and caregivers in addition to survivors of BI. Currently, Dr. Backhaus is the primary investigator in developing a new program, in collaboration with other professionals, on improving marital quality and satisfaction after brain injury. This intervention will ultimately be manualized. Her primary interests include assisting individuals with brain injury to achieve better adaptation, social integration, perception of quality and satisfaction with life, and community and / or vocational reintegration on a long-term basis.

    Honors & Awards
    • Health Hero of the Year, 2011
    • McDowell Award, 2009
    Research & Innovation
    • Developed award winning, 16-week treatment intervention called the Brain Injury Coping Skills Group (BICS) and teaches intervention nationally and internationally
    • Developed a Peer Mentoring Program for brain injury survivors and family members
    • Chairs a support group called Bridging the Gap, designed to meet the needs of families and caregivers in addition to survivors of brain injury
    • Primary Investigator in developing a new program on improving marital quality and satisfaction after brain injury
    Education & Experience
    Education

    1994 Purdue University - Psychology

    1997 University of Colorado - Master of Clinical Psychology

    2002 Nova Southeastern University - Clinical Psychology Doctorate

    Location
  • Kyle Littell, MD

    Medical Director, Comprehensive Medical
    Staff Physiatrist

    • Practicing
      Since
      2016
    • Joined
      Staff In
      2016

    Medical Director, Comprehensive Medical

    About

    Kyle Littell, MD received his medical degree at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine. He then completed his internship at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center and then his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Colorado in Denver, CO. His clinic provides care for a variety of patients such as traumatic brain injury, post organ transplantation, amputation, and stroke. He also functions as the Medical Director of Complex Medical Services at RHI working to develop programs in collaboration with a variety of team members to help provide a better platform of care to help those who have gone through a life changing even return home from inpatient rehabilitation. Dr. Littell also is involved in several research projects as a co-investigator in a multicenter trial and also helping the future generation in research by working with residents on projects as well. Dr. Littell's special interest include transplant rehabilitation, amputee, brain injury, stroke, and general rehabilitation for complex medical patients. He is also enthusiastic about teaching residents and students on his service and participating in educational committees to help grow the minds of future physicians.

    Honors & Awards
    • Teacher of Year for the Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Department, 2017
    Education, Training & Certifications
    Education

    2012 Loma Linda University School of Medicine

    2012-2013 Transitional Year at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center

    2008 Southern Adventist University, Biophysics

    Residency

    2013-2016 University of Colorado School of Medicine Graduate Medical Education in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency Program

    Certificates & Licenses

    Board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Indiana State Medical Licensure

    Location
  • Sheryl Katta-Charles, MD

    Medical Director, Brain Injury Program

    • Practicing
      Since
      2015
    • Joined
      Staff In
      2015

    Medical Director, Brain Injury Program

    About

    Sheryl Katta-Charles, M.D. completed residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan/Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. She received her medical doctorate degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies and her undergraduate degrees in Biology and Psychology from University of Illinois at Chicago where she studied learning, memory, neuroendocrine hormones and behavior in rodents. She currently cares for patients with traumatic and non-traumatic brain injuries at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana. When she is not working, Dr. Charles enjoys running, traveling, watching movies with her husband, and playing with her new baby girl.

    Honors & Awards
    • Resident of the Year at Wayne State University, 2015
    Education, Training & Certifications
    Education

    2006 Biology and Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago

    2011 MD, St. George's University School of Medicine

    2015 Residency, Wayne State University, Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan

    Residency

    2015 Residency, Wayne State University, Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan

    Certificates & Licenses

    Board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Indiana State Medical Licensure

    Location