Research at Sargent College

At the College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College, research is the thread that connects us. It stretches across disciplines and departments within the College. It links us to other schools and colleges at Boston University. And it weaves together all our activities in classrooms, clinics, and labs.

Our Wide-Ranging Interests

Backed by more than $16 million in outside funding—the most of any health and rehabilitation sciences college in the United States—our investigations have impressive breadth and depth and cover the full range of biological and behavioral research relating to human health, disease, and disorders. For instance, while a health sciences project examines muscle cells affected by cerebral palsy, a physical therapy study analyzes the walking movements of children with the disease. Some disorders, such as stroke, are relevant to research under way in all four departments, from the activity of smooth muscles to relearning the activities of daily life through occupational therapy

Within a single department, our research interests cut across the entire human life span. Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences faculty and students, for example, study speech perception in infants, the language abilities of autistic children, illiteracy in adolescents, and the effects of aging on language comprehension.

We are also deeply involved in interdisciplinary research through efforts in our research centers and faculty labs. Members of our faculty teach and collaborate on research projects in a number of BU interdepartmental programs, including neuroscience and cell & molecular biology. In addition, they collaborate with colleagues on the BU medical campus and in the School of Public Health to tackle complex problems requiring multiple areas of expertise.

Our Integrated Approach

Health and rehabilitation research at Sargent College in BostonThe synergy between research, teaching, and clinical practice is one of the College’s greatest strengths. Sargent’s evidence-based approach to practice and education means that research informs all our activities. Our faculty members are both engaged in and avid readers of the latest research. As a result, Sargent students learn what’s most current, and patients in our clinics get the benefits of the latest proven therapies. In fact, many patients enthusiastically participate in our clinical studies and volunteer in our classrooms, giving students the chance to interact with specific disorders they will encounter in clinical practice.

Students pursuing an academic or career interest in research benefit from our wealth of research activities, as well. We offer outstanding opportunities to observe and participate in exciting projects, including our undergraduate Senior Thesis for Distinction—and, in our doctoral programs, to originate new ones with all the advantages of our strong mentoring model. Students and professionals often come to Sargent College specifically to work with accomplished members of our faculty. Many go on to make significant achievements in research or scholarship.