Faculty and Staff


Alan Jette, PhD, MPH

Jette currently directs the Health & Disability Research Institute at the Boston University School of Public Health where he also serves as Professor of Health Policy & Management. He received his MPH and PhD in public health from the University of Michigan. Dr. Jette’s research interests include late-life exercise, evaluation of treatment outcomes, and the measurement, epidemiology, and prevention of disability. He has published over 160 articles on these topics in the rehabilitation, geriatrics, and public health literature. Dr. Jette is Research Director for the New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center based at Boston University Medical Center and serves as Associate Director of the Boston Claude Pepper Older Americans Independence Center. He is Director of the Boston Contemporary Outcome Measurement Network funded by the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research. His current work focuses on the development and dissemination of contemporary outcome measurement instruments to evaluate the quality of health care. Dr. Jette was a member of the NRC-IOM Committee to Review the Social Security Administration’s Disability Decision Process Research, was Chair of the IOM Committee on The Future of Disability in America, and was Chair of the NRC Steering Committee to Design and Conduct a Public Workshop on New Survey Measures of Cognitive and Functional Disability: Going Beyond ADLs and IADLs.

In memoriam: Stephen M. Haley, PT, PhD, FAPTA 1951 – 2011

Stephen M. Haley served as the Steve was Professor of Health Policy & Management at the Boston University School of Public Health, Associate Director of its Health & Disability Research Institute, and served as Director of Research of the Center for Children with Special Health Care Needs at Boston’s Franciscan Hospital until his death in July, 2011.

Nancy Latham, PhD, PT

Latham is a Research Assistant Professor in the Health and Disability Research Institute at the Boston University School of Public Health. Her research interest is in applying methods from the field of clinical epidemiology, such as randomized controlled trials, cohort studies and meta-analyses, to rehabilitation research. She has published more than 35 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Latham has received a Mary E. Switzer Distinguished Fellowship from the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research and was recently an investigator in the Boston Pepper Center Research and Development Core. Her current research projects include an NIH funded randomized controlled clinical trial of an exercise intervention to improve function after hip fracture and the development of a voice-recognition system to remotely monitor function in older adults.

Christine M. McDonough, PhD, MS, PT

McDonough received her BS in Physical Therapy from the University of Vermont, and worked in a wide variety of clinical and non-clinical settings, primarily in independent physical therapy practice from 1988 – 2003. She received her MS and PhDs in Evaluative Clinical Sciences from Dartmouth College. Her research interests include patient, clinician, and policy decision-making, and measurement, epidemiology, and treatment of functional decline and disability associated with aging and musculoskeletal disorders. She holds a New Investigator Training Initiative Fellowship in Health Services Research from the Foundation for Physical Therapy and conducts collaborative research at the Health and Disability Research Institute and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. She contributed as a committee member to the American Physical Therapy Association’s Revised Research Agenda, and is currently a member of the APTA’s Advisory Committee on the National Outcomes Database. She is an instructor for the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions course Designing Clinical Research, and guest lecturer for Medical Decision Making at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.  She works as liaison and consultant for the Center for Translation of Rehabilitation Engineering Advances and Technology. Her current work investigates the responsiveness of computer-adaptive measures of function and disability in orthopedic and geriatric clinical trials.

Pengsheng Ni, MD, MPH

Ni has a strong biostatistical and computer science background. His primary research interest is the implementation of Item Response Theory (IRT) to practical health care issues. Dr. Ni has developed computerized adaptive testing models and constructed online surveys. He has expertise in various statistical programming software packages including SAS, Visual Basic, CGI and Perl.

Mary Slavin, PT, PhD

Slavin is the Director of Education and Dissemination at the HDRI. She is a physical therapist with more than 30 years of experience in the rehabilitation field, serving as a clinician, educator and researcher. Dr. Slavin’s interests include promoting evidence-based practice in rehabilitation and use of appropriate measures to assess rehabilitation outcomes.

Elizabeth Marfeo, PhD, MPH, OTR/L

Marfeo is a Research Associate Professor at the Boston University School Sargent College of Rehabilitation. Dr. Marfeo works as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Boston University School of Public Health, Health and Disability Research (HDR) Institute. Her current work at HDR focuses on development of computer adaptive tests for assessment of health related outcome measures, including measurement of work disability status. Dr. Marfeo’s areas of interest include research focusing on quality and outcomes measurement development with a particular focus on aging and disability studies. Dr. Marfeo also serves on the Boston University Medical Center Institutional Review Board and is on the executive board of the AcademyHealth BU Student Chapter. She received her MPH in Health Policy from Yale University School of Public Health and BS in Occupational Therapy from the Medical College of Georgia.

Visiting Scholar

Linda Resnick , PT, PhD

Dr. Linda Resnick is the visiting scientist for 2010– 11. Dr Resnik’s research activities bridge the methodologies of rehabilitation and health services research. Her interests include rehabilitation service delivery, outcomes measurement, prosthetics and amputation, and postdeployment reintegration. She is a member of 3 research teams; Brown’s Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research, Providence VA’s Research Enhancement Program and Center for Restorative and Regenerative Medicine.

Dr. Resnick’s work will focus on patient-reported outcomes. She is working to develop a new instrument to assess community reintegration among veterans.


Doctoral Students

Poonam Pardasaney, DPT, MS,

Pardasaney is a doctoral student working with Drs. Alan Jette and Nancy Latham at the Health and Disability Research Institute. Poonam is working towards an ScD in Rehabilitation Sciences at Boston University, Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. Her research is focused on the psychometric analysis of current balance assessment tools for community-dwelling older adults. She also serves as a research assistant on 2 studies: the HIP rehabilitation trial assessing effectiveness of a home exercise program in older adults with a hip fracture, and the Late-Life Function and Disability Instrument (LLFDI-CAT), an instrument calibration study to measure function in older adults. She recently received the Dudley Allen Sargent Research grant for doctoral students, to fund her dissertation work. Prior to enrolling in the ScD program at Boston University, Poonam worked as a physical therapist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, MA. She received her Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy and Post-Professional Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, MA, where she was the recipient of the annual student award for the most outstanding physical therapy Master’s thesis.

Publications and Research:
Sullivan PE, Puniello M, Pardasaney P. Rehabilitation Program Development: Clinical Decision Making, Prioritization and Program Integration. In: Magee DJ, Zachazewski JE, Quillen WS, eds. Scientific Foundations and Principles of Practice in Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation. Elsevier; Feb 2007.

Pardasaney P, Sullivan PE, Portney LG, Mankin HJ. Advantage of Limb Salvage over Amputation for Proximal Lower Extremity Tumors. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2006;444:201-208.

Statistical consultant: Belgen B, Beninato M, Sullivan PE, Narielwalla K. The association of balance capacity and falls self-efficacy with history of falling in community-dwelling people with chronic stroke. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2006;87:554-61.

Richa Sinha



Kara Bogusz, BA

Bogusz is a project administrator at Boston University School of Public Health, Health & Disability Research (HDR) Institute. She coordinates and assists with the day-to-day operations of HDR research studies, including: Applying CAT Testing to the SSA Disability Evaluation Process, BU-HDR is working with the National Institutes of Health and the Social Security Administration to evaluate the feasibility of implementing CAT assessments into the disability determination process and the Patient-Reported Outcomes Information System (PROMIS) pediatric work being conducted with Shriners Hospital For Children. Ms. Bogusz’s areas of interest are in CAT development.

Christine Goodyear

Nicholas DiPersio

Jabed Mustafa, MPH

Mustafa is a data collector/research assistant at the Boston University School of Public Health, Health and Disability Research (HDR) Institute. He works in Hip Rehab Project as a data collector. Primary responsibility of Jabed Mustafa is to explain the hip rehab clinical trial study to the research subjects at their home and take written inform consent from the subjects enrolled in the study. After taking written consent from the research participants, Jabed collects data electronically during the baseline and follow up period/phase by face to face interview and physically assess at the participants’ home and then send the information to the data coordinating center of School of Public Health.