CHP building at night

Department of Health Sciences & Research

The Department of Health Sciences & Research (HS&R) is the home to the Ph.D. Program in Health & Rehabilitation Science. The Ph.D. program positions graduates to lead interdisciplinary research teams toward optimizing the health and rehabilitation outcomes of patients using innovative methods and cutting-edge technology. 

The department is home to a thriving research program. The College of Health Professions Research Building comprises more than 8,200 ft2 of specialized labs supporting cutting edge research in disciplines such as: stroke recovery and rehabilitation, neuromodulation, operant conditioning, telehealth, and device and technology development. Additionally, the research building serves as dedicated joint research space for the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center through a formal Memorandum of Understanding. Through our dedicated faculty, staff, and students, HS&R is focused inter-professional education and research, as well as fostering the next generation of scientists by supporting a range of postdoctoral students. Similarly, HS&R programs aim to translate research discoveries from our successful labs to positively impact clinical practice and to improve the lives of our patients and beyond.

Department Chair

Steve Kautz

Steven A. Kautz, PhD, was named Chair and Professor of the department in January 2010, and in 2013 was named the first endowed chair in the College of Health Professions, the Christie Family Endowed Chair in Stroke Rehabilitation Research. Dr. Kautz is a VA Senior Research Career Scientist, has been a VA Biomedical Engineer in the Rehabilitation R&D Service for 27 years, and is a member of the national VA Research Biomedical Engineer (BME) National Professional Standards Board (NPSB). He received his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of California, Davis in 1992. Prior to joining MUSC in 2010, Dr. Kautz was a Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Florida and served in the leadership of the VA Brain Rehabilitation Research Center in Gainesville, FL.

In addition to chairing the department, Dr. Kautz has more than 25 years of experience in measuring motor performance related to neuromuscular control and has published more than 110 peer-reviewed articles. He has been the principal investigator (PI) or Co-PI of more than 20 grant awards in rehabilitation totaling more than $30 Million. He is currently the PI of the NIH-funded Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) in Stroke Recovery (in its second five-year funding cycle) and the PI of the National Center of Neuromodulation for Rehabilitation, an NIH-Funded research center that is one of only six members in the NIH Medical Rehabilitation Research Infrastructure Network.