Catherine Lang, PhD, professor of physical therapy, of neurology and of occupational therapy at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been awarded a MERIT award from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The award will support five years of research and the opportunity to extend funding an additional five years.
The $2.7 million award will support Lang’s work using wearable motion sensors in stroke rehabilitation. Since 2012, Lang — associate director of the Movement Science Program in the Program in Physical Therapy — and her team have been evaluating discrepancies between activities people are capable of in structured environments, such as a rehab clinic — and what they actually do in their daily lives. The goal is to use the knowledge to develop or modify interventions that will improve outcomes in the real world, not just the clinic.
Researchers cannot apply for a MERIT — Method to Extend Research in Time — award; rather, investigators are selected by the NICHD through an internal review process. According to the NIH, the objective of the MERIT award is “to provide long-term grant support to investigators whose research competence and productivity are distinctly superior and who are highly to continue to perform in an outstanding manner.”