USF Center for Neuromusculoskeletal Research

Significance: Neuromusculoskeletal disorders are among the most common health problems affecting all populations globally and particularly those in the State of Florida. As the population ages, these disorders will become more burdensome for individuals, first responders, and society at large. Management of these chronic disorders has become progressively more challenging, as evidenced by the mounting socioeconomic costs, increasing disabilities and functional limitations, increase in opioid abuse from chronic pain, and associated quality of life degradation emanating from these disorders. Therefore, high impact research is needed to test and implement innovative and promising diagnostic, prevention, and treatment methods to combat these disorders.

Mission: The mission of the Center of Neuromusculoskeletal Research (CNMSR) of the School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida (USF) is to conduct research for prevention and management of neuromusculoskeletal disorders in order to reduce their burden in society and improve quality of life. The vision of the CNMSR is to be recognized as the leader in transformational and innovative neuromusculoskeletal research, including alternative therapy applications, for the State of Florida. The CNMSR utilizes evidence-based and interprofessional approaches that provide a model for research and clinical management of neuromusculoskeletal disorders to prevent and reduce the negative impact of these disorders. The CNMSR’s focus is effective and pragmatic solutions for neuromusculoskeletal disorders.

Contribution to the State of Florida: The CNMSR marks the first commitment of state funds to address the growing burden of neuromusculoskeletal disorders impacting Florida’s residents. There is no similar center or institute in the Florida State University System that addresses our state’s needs related to these disorders. The CNMSR enables USF and the State of Florida to be a leader in promoting and optimizing the benefits of an evidence-based and collaborative approach to prevention and treatment of neuromusculoskeletal disorders among its first responders, military personnel, veterans, and residents. The expected advancements made possible through the CNMSR’s initiatives have the potential to substantially improve employability and reduce health care costs for all populations statewide.

Accomplishments: Some of the notable accomplishments of the CNMSR include: successful continuation of current and award of new DOD and DHS/FEMA funded research grant for our first responders, military personnel, and veterans; development of research initiatives for prevention and reduction of injury in first responders; employed key personnel to the CNMSR; facilitated completion of graduate training for clinical researchers; developed clinical research projects with community involvement; demonstrated capacity to garner Florida industry support; presentation at numerous industry, scientific, and occupational conferences centered on prevention of opioid abuse, current projects, and overall reduction of neuromusculoskeletal disorders; secured Florida High-Tech Corridor funding matches for sponsored research; developed and implemented the PhD program in Rehabilitation Sciences; continued growth of interprofessional partnerships with chiropractic, physical therapy, prosthetics & orthotics, neurosciences, exercise science, and medicine. The CNMSR continues to pursue funding from federal and non-federal sources to match pilot research projects. Additionally, non-profit foundations have aligned with the CNMSR research initiatives through sponsorship.

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