CERSE at a Glance

Accelerating research that drives rehabilitation breakthroughs

With the expertise, connections and compassion to advance our fields and improve the lives of those we serve, the Center for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering (CERSE) is one of Virginia Commonwealth University’s premier research centers. We bring together dedicated researchers and lead innovative, interdisciplinary studies across multiple institutions, schools, departments, private organizations and government agencies. Subscribe to our monthly email newsletter to learn more about what is happening at CERSE. See archive below for past issues of CERSE Communications.

What We Do

Our mission is to connect researchers and accelerate rehabilitation breakthroughs that empower people to overcome barriers and thrive.

Dedicated to improving the lives of those we serve, CERSE research helps people with:

  • Traumatic brain injury to self-manage their health and improve their relationships
  • Life-altering diseases and injuries to use exoskeletons and other assistive devices to walk
  • Developmental neuromuscular conditions to sit and stand upright and interact with others
  • Parkinson’s disease to avoid falls and walk safely in their homes and communities
  • Low back pain to find relief, increase mobility and return to activities
  • Cancer to regain their strength and stamina and re-engage in life
  • Developmental and intellectual disabilities to obtain skills and maintain work
  • Addictions and self-control issues to develop resilience and make healthy decisions

How We Do It

CERSE delivers on its mission by providing the following methods of support:

Innovation with Impact: A Message from our Director

VCUSOM Message from the Dean - Message from the Director

Innovation with Impact: A Message from our Director

The Center for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering (CERSE) is the research engine at VCU that connects researchers and turns ideas into life-changing realities. We support an interdisciplinary research network that works tirelessly to improve assessment, decision-making, treatment and outcomes for those in need of rehabilitation care.

For CERSE, research is about improving lives. While our talented researchers obtain tens of millions of grant dollars and publish hundreds of papers each year, our focus remains on people, and we proudly measure our success by the direct impact our innovations have on those we serve.

CERSE has an inclusive, can-do culture that is passionate about accelerating rehabilitation breakthroughs to help people help themselves. We seek to partner with researchers, clinicians and any individual with the drive to help others. Are you one of us?

Ronald Seel, Ph.D., FACRM

Learn more about opportunities to give and make your impact today.

Research, Accelerated

Innovative health solutions from our diverse, dynamic consortia

The embodiment of CERSE's mission is our dedication to developing cutting-edge research that advances rehabilitation and improves lives.

CERSE currently supports eight research consortia:

  • Veterans’ health and wellness
  • Regenerative and rehabilitation medicine
  • Health services and policy
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Physical function and health
  • Participation and adaptation
  • Personalized rehabilitation
  • Digital health
Read about our research areas and ongoing projects


2022 CERSE accomplishments infographic showing $106 million in funding and 219 publications.

A Collaborative Effort

In rehab science, collaboration leads to innovation and life changes.

By working together, CERSE’s interdisciplinary research consortia have received more than $20 million per year in grant and contract research sponsorship. And that number continues to grow.

Schools involved in this ongoing venture include:

  • VCU School of Medicine
  • VCU School of the Arts
  • VCU School of Education
  • VCU College of Engineering
  • VCU College of Health Professions
  • VCU College of Humanities and Sciences
  • VCU School of Nursing
  • VCU School of Pharmacy

We also maintain close relationships with the following Richmond-area facilities and organizations:

Make an Impact Today

CERSE is changing lives, and we need your help to do it.

Interested in contributing to the long-term success of CERSE and its dedicated researchers? You can make your mark on the center today.

Learn how you can make an impact

Real People; Real Results

With cutting edge initiatives, CERSE accelerates research that makes tangible impacts on the people we serve.