Faculty / Staff Resources Student Resources
University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Sook-Lei Liew | Neural Plasticity and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory (NPNL)

About Sook-Lei Liew and the NPNL

Sook-Lei Liew is an Associate Professor and Director of the Neural Plasticity and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory at the University of Southern California. She has joint appointments in the divisions of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience, and Neurology, and is a member of the USC Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute. She is also a co-founder and co-director of the USC SMART-VR (SensoriMotor Assessment and Rehabilitation Training) Center (smartvr.usc.edu).

Dr. Sook-Lei Liew directs the Neural Plasticity and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory, which explores mechanisms of neural plasticity in healthy individuals and individuals after neurological injury that support a person’s ability to learn new skills and recover from brain injury. Her laboratory has championed novel big data approaches to study brain imaging and behavior to understand how people recover after stroke, as well as neuromodulatory techniques and technologies such as noninvasive brain stimulation, brain computer interfaces and virtual reality to promote learning and enhance plasticity and rehabilitation after brain injury.

She has over 40 peer-reviewed publications and given over 120 invited talks and conference presentations. Her work has received over $4.5 million in funding from agencies such as the NIH, National Science Foundation, US Army, and American Heart Association, has received the SXSW Special Jury Award for the Innovative Use of Virtual Reality Technology in the Field of Health, and has been featured in press outlets such as Forbes, CNET, and PC Magazine.

About the residency

As the OTD Resident in the Neural Plasticity and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory, you may engage in the following activities:

  • Working as a program manager for the USC SMART-VR Center to help organize center events, manage center communications, and cultivate a sense of community among researchers, clinicians, engineers, and artists to promote collaborations for virtual and augmented reality experiences for healthcare.
  • Working as a project manager for various research projects, including overseeing the organization, recruitment, and interactions with research participants for studies. Tasks may also include implementing novel stroke rehabilitation interventions and assessing post-stroke sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective outcomes using clinical assessments and administering surveys.
  • Working as a project scientist on big data brain imaging analyses, learning to use software to read MRI scans, manually segment stroke lesions, perform quality control on stroke brain segmentations, and related tasks.
  • Helping with participant recruitment, scheduling, and academic and research-related writing associated with lab studies and projects (i.e., grants, IRBs, manuscripts).
  • Attend and participate in weekly lab meetings and present if desired.

The resident will dedicate 30 hours/week during fall and spring semesters and 40 hours/week in the summer semester.

Financial support

Individuals may apply for competitive division scholarship awards. These scholarships will cover up to 18 units of tuition.

Contact information

For additional questions, please contact Dr. Liew at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).