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USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Latest Chan Division News

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USC Chan commits $2.5M to post-pandemic response ⟩
April 26, 2021

Academics and Courses Associations and Bodies Community and Partners Diversity, Access, Equity Pandemic Research

Three-year initiative to fast-track projects addressing occupational needs and health of individuals, families and communities.

By Mike McNulty ReSPONs conceptual schematic The USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy has launched a $2.5 million initiative comprising a variety of projects aimed at the coronavirus, economic and racial pandemics, the combined effects of which are sure to be felt for…

New project aims to increase trust for future autism research ⟩
April 2, 2021

Autism Awards Community and Partners Diversity, Access, Equity Faculty Health and Wellness Research

Two-year project will build formal alliances that accentuate perspectives of autistic people, their family members and caregivers, service providers and researchers.

By Mike McNulty For too long, too few autistic people have had a say in how autism research is designed, developed and disseminated, and researchers have not tapped into the expertise that only autistic people and their families have. A new USC-coordinated project looks to upend that disparity by…

Pyatak named to NIH study section ⟩
February 1, 2021

Associations and Bodies Faculty Lifestyle Redesign Research

Associate Professor Beth Pyatak has been invited to serve as a member of the Biobehavioral Medicine and Health Outcomes Study Section of the NIH Center for Scientific Review. Her four-year term begins July 1, 2021.

Associate Professor Beth Pyatak Dr. Pyatak’s scholarship focuses on translational research in Lifestyle Redesign®, an occupational therapy intervention framework that promotes awareness of the relationship between daily activities and health, and guides individuals with chronic conditions…

New study shows children with autism have less activity in brain region that observes, simulates movements ⟩
January 28, 2021

Autism Faculty Research Students

Team of USC and UCLA researchers first to pinpoint reduced frontal lobe activity, helping explain some social characteristics unique to autism.

By Mike McNulty A brain region responsible for processing visual observations of others’ movements then mapping those movements upon one’s own body schema is significantly less activated in children with autism spectrum disorder, compared to typically-developing children and to children with…

PhD student Dominique Como earns NIH fellowship ⟩
August 17, 2020

Awards Research Students

$92K award to support oral health care disparities research and training

In July, USC Chan occupational science PhD student Dominique Como ’21 received a National Institutes of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award. Commonly referred to as a F31 award, the two-year fellowship funded by the National Institute of Dental and…

A trio of faculty members explore how VR can help combat neurological diseases ⟩
August 4, 2020

Chan in the Media Faculty Health and Wellness Research Technology

USC’s Sook-Lei Liew, Judy Pa and James M. Finley are researching the benefits of virtual reality for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or stroke.

By Chandrea Miller / USC Today From left, Sook-Lei Liew, James M. Finley and Judy Pa in the USC SMART-VR Center. (Photo courtesy of Sook-Lei Liew) They've been called one of the most junior teams to lead such a high-profile USC collaboration. "I'm not sure if this is good or bad," said Sook-Lei Liew…

Neonatal therapy expert joins USC Chan faculty ⟩
July 13, 2020

Clinical Faculty Research

Certified Neonatal Therapist and research scientist Bobbi Pineda studies high-risk and premature infants and their families in the NICU.

By Mike McNulty Assistant Professor Bobbi Pineda Every year in the U.S., approximately 500,000 babies are born before reaching 37 weeks of pregnancy. The earlier the gestational age, the higher are the risks to the infant, including disability and mortality. "Just being born early changes brain…

USC-designed smartphone app aims to get older adults “Moving Up” ⟩
June 3, 2020

Chan in the Media Clinical Faculty Health and Wellness Research Technology

Less than 10% of people aged 65 and up meet the national guidelines for physical activity. USC researchers are seeking to increase this figure through Moving Up, a mobile phone app geared toward older adults.

By Rishbha Bhagi / USC Viterbi School of Engineering Stacey Schepens Niemiec has long been passionate about using technology to improve the health and wellness of older adults. She became concerned with the widening of a “digital divide” among older adults that was limiting their access to…

Smart squad ⟩
May 11, 2020

Chan in the Media Community and Partners Faculty Research Technology

By Chandrea Miller / USC Provost They've been called one of the most junior teams to lead a USC collaboration fund center — they, as in, Dr. James M. Finley, Assistant Professor, USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, Dr. Judy Pa and Dr. Sook-Lei Liew, both, Assistant Professors,…

Video: Intelligent desk that promotes office worker health, wellness and productivity ⟩
November 21, 2019

Faculty Health and Wellness Research Technology

When you think of an intelligent machine, what comes to mind? Associate Professor Shawn Roll, co-principal investigator of the "Coadaptation of Intelligent Office Desks and Human Users to Promote Worker Productivity, Health and Wellness" study, helps explain the future of intelligent workspaces in…

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