The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), College of Medicine, National Taiwan University ranks number one in its rehabilitation-related research in Taiwan, and is also renowned internationally. For decades, the department dedicates to clinical studies and basic research regarding molecular and physiological basis of disabling diseases, new treatment methods, advanced diagnostic technology, rehabilitation engineering, and other related topics for patients with disability and pain. For example, Dr. YH Wang is endeavoring to identify the cardiovascular risks of patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). He found that SCI is associated with a low-grade chronic inflammatory state and endothelial activation, which may increase atherogenic risk in patients with chronic SCI. Dr. WS Chen is working on the ultrasound-mediated gene transfection and drug delivery.
Animal models of gene therapy facilitated by cavitation and sonoporation were successfully established in his lab. Dr. HW Laing is interested in industrial rehabilitation medicine and work-related musculoskeletal disorders, and is investigating the epidemiology, pathophysiological and treatment of cumulative trauma disorders, especially upper limbs. Dr. SL Pan’s research involves the applications of multi-state stochastic model and the development of random-effect Markov regression model for stroke. The department has well-equipped electrophysiological and exercise physiological labs for research, which lead to series publications in upper limb neuropathy (Dr. CW Chang) and Tai Chi Chuan (Dr. SY Chen & Dr. JS Lai), respectively. By collaborating with engineers, the department is developing its own version of rehabilitation robots for stroke patients (Dr. JS Lai & Dr. WS Chen) (Fig.1). The department is also famous for its research on musculoskeletal ultrasound and swallowing disorders (Dr. TG Wang) (Fig.2).