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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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Research
Research

About Our Research
Research Labs

Boundary Crossings >

SIEFL Core >

The Boundary Crossings Lab, directed by Dr. Mary Lawlor, addresses a range of issues related to the lived experiences of children, adolescents, and adults who have health and developmental challenges as they engage in the extraordinary and ordinary activities that constitute living and learning in…

Center for the Neuroscience of Embodied Cognition (CeNEC) >

ReHaB Core >

Our bodies are one of the most fundamental ways we understand ourselves, the world, and other people. The Center for the Neuroscience of Embodied Cognition’s research program explores the idea that rudimentary sensory-motor brain regions, which may have been originally designed for processing our…

Disparity Reduction and Equity in Autism Services (DREAmS) >

SIEFL Core >

The mission of the Disparity Reduction and Equity in Autism Services (DREAmS) Lab, led by Dr. Amber Angell, is to identify, measure, understand, and reduce disparities in autism diagnosis and services. The lab’s overarching vision is to eliminate health disparities and achieve health equity for…

Health and Empowerment Action (HEAL) >

Health Core >

The Health and Empowerment Action (HEAL) Lab, directed by Dr. Joy Agner, focuses on improving health systems and services for underserved populations, such as racial minorities, people in poverty, and individuals with chronic disability or severe mental illness, using a community-based participatory…

Healthy Aging Research & Technology (HART) >

Health Core >

The mission of the Healthy Aging Research & Technology (HART) Lab is to promote older adult wellness by investigating interventions — with special emphasis on application of cutting-edge technology — designed to support healthful, meaningful activity participation in later life. Under the…

Human Occupation, Precarity, and Employment (HOPE) >

The Human Occupation, Precarity, and Employment (HOPE) Lab, directed by Dr. Rebecca Aldrich, aims to illuminate assumptions, practices, and policies that differently shape access to, and engagement in, occupation. The lab draws on dynamic theoretical foundations — such as the transactional…

Innovations in Neurodevelopmental Sensory Processing Research (insp!re) >

SIEFL Core >

Led by Grace Baranek, the Innovations in Neurodevelopmental Sensory Processing Research (insp!re) lab is a multidisciplinary team of researchers, students, post-doctoral fellows and volunteers committed to advancing our knowledge of early risk signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related…

Lifestyle Interventions for Health Promotion and Prevention >

Health Core >

Well Elderly Study Since 1993, when the USC Well Elderly Study was first launched, the USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy has been involved in studying the impact of a specific intervention called Lifestyle Redesign® on health in older Americans. The initial USC Well…

Lifestyle Redesign for Chronic Conditions (LRCC) >

Health Core >

The Lifestyle Redesign® for Chronic Conditions (LRCC) Lab, led by Dr. Beth Pyatak, explores the impact of chronic conditions such as diabetes and arthritis on health and well-being. Our research particularly focuses on addressing the needs of populations that are medically underserved or at an…

Musculoskeletal Sonography and Occupational Performance (MSOP) >

ReHaB Core >

The Musculoskeletal Sonography and Occupational Performance (MSOP) Lab employs a holistic approach to examine interrelationships among occupational performance, health, and well-being. Research is primarily focused on worker well-being within built, organizational, and social contexts, and the…

Neural Plasticity and Neurorehabilitation (NPNL) >

ReHaB Core >

The overall mission of the Neural Plasticity and Neurorehabilitation (NPNL) Lab is to enhance neural plasticity in a wide population of individuals in order to improve their quality of life and engagement in meaningful activities. We study how the brain changes in response to different events and…

NICU Therapy >

ReHaB Core >

The NICU Therapy Lab, led by Dr. Bobbi Pineda, explores the impact of the environment, medical conditions, and therapeutic interventions on brain structure and functional outcomes of infants born prior to 32 weeks gestation who are hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit. The lab also…

Sensory Adaptations in Dental Environments (SADE) >

SIEFL Core >

The Sensory Adaptations in Dental Environments lab, led by Sharon Cermak, studies interventions that alter the sensory characteristics of the dental environment in order to decrease children’s physiological anxiety and negative responses during oral care and contribute to increased child comfort…

Tailored Environmental Modifications (TEM) >

SIEFL Core >

The Tailored Environmental Modifications (TEM) Lab focuses on the broad-ranging effects of environmental factors on stress, well-being, and activity engagement during challenging healthcare encounters, and the efficacy of TEM interventions to alleviate these challenges. Using a variety of…