Investigators

Sherrilene Classen

Sherrilene Classen PhD

Professor And Chair

Sherrilene Classen, PhD, MPH, OTR/L, FAOTA, FGSA is Professor and Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Florida (UF). Dr. Classen, an academic leader, is an internationally funded prevention-oriented rehabilitation scientist with expertise in fitness-to-drive issues in at-risk drivers through the lifespan with content expertise in clinical assessments, driving simulators, on-road assessments, and autonomous vehicles. She has established SmartDriverTM (2017), a clinical driver rehabilitation program at UF, and developed the 14-credit Post-Professional Certificate in Driver Rehabilitation Therapy—with UF being the sole university in the U.S. teaching this program. Dr. Classen applies a public health, rehabilitation science, and clinical perspective to illuminate the depth and breadth of driver rehabilitation as a specialty area. Since 2002, she has received competitive external funding (totaling >$10 million) from U.S. federal agencies, industry, foundations, state departments, and international agencies. She has (co)authored over 170 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, and special journal issues; is the editor of a handbook on driving simulation; and has presented over 310 papers at scientific conferences. Dr. Classen, a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association, the Gerontological Society of America, an inductee to the Academy of Research, American Occupational Therapy Foundation, is the Chair of the National Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists Research Committee (2022-2024).

Stefanie Bodison

Stefanie Bodison OTD, OTR/L

Assistant Professor And Director Of Sensory Development Lab

Stefanie Bodison, OTD, OTR/L, is an Assistant Professor, in the Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Public Health and Health Professions, at the University of Florida. Dr. Bodison is an internationally renowned expert in sensory integration theory, assessment, and intervention. Her research program uses multimodal neuroimaging methods to investigate the neural correlates of sensory processing as a foundation for the development of sensorimotor and social-emotional skills in neurotypically developing children and those with neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Bodison has received research grants from the Department of Defense, the NIH National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the Southern California Clinical Translational Science Institute to study developing sensorimotor networks in children with autism, prenatal alcohol exposure, and sensorineural hearing loss. Her research program strives to elucidate sensory brain-behavior relationships to inform the development and refinement of rehabilitation interventions for children and adolescents. Dr. Bodison has (co)authored over 30 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters; is an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Occupational Therapy; and has presented over 100 scientific papers and clinical trainings across the globe. She also has clinical expertise in the development of feeding and eating skills in very young children.

Jessica M Kramer

Jessica M Kramer PhD, OTR/L

Associate Professor

Dr. Kramer’s research draws upon theoretical concepts and methodologies from occupational therapy, disability studies, education and rehabilitation to: 1) Partner with youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in the development and evaluation of rehabilitation products; 2) Develop community-based interventions that equip youth with I/DD and their families with the skills to identify and resolve environmental barriers to participation; and 3) Design high quality patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) using contemporary measurement approaches.

Dr. Kramer uses quantitative, qualitative, and participatory approaches to design projects that harness the optimal method needed to answer complex research questions and meet the needs of multiple stakeholders, including youth and young adults with disabilities, their families, and rehabilitation professionals. Dr. Kramer has been awarded over 1.5 million dollars in external funding (including NIH, NIDILRR, and PCORI), and her collaborators include researchers from: Colorado State University, Temple University, Boston University, Brandeis University, The Center for START Services at the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability, and Georgetown University National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC); and advocacy groups including Self Advocates Becoming Empowered and The Arc of the United States. Dr. Kramer’s occupational therapy practice experience is with enabling children and youth ages 3 to 20 with multiple, severe disabilities to participate and learn in a public school setting.

Chiung-ju (CJ) Liu

Chiung-ju (CJ) Liu PhD, OTR/L, FGSA

Associate Professor

Chiung-ju (CJ) Liu, PhD, OTR/L, FGSA is an Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida.Dr. Liu’s research area is healthy aging. She is interested in identifying factors to increase older adults’ functional ability, which is the capacity that enables individuals to be and do what they have reasons to value. Her research expertise includes health literacy promotion, late-life disability prevention, and systematic reviews of interventions that support independence in activities of daily living for older adults. Dr. Liu studies the relationship between cognitive aging and health literacy. She examines the use of text cohesion, illustrations, and stereoscopic videos to reduce the cognitive load required to process health information in older adults. Additionally, Dr. Liu has published a series of systematic reviews examining the effect of exercise on late-life disability. She recently developed 3-Step Workout for Life to enhance functional gains from structured exercise for older adults who are at risk of losing independence at home. Her work has contributed to practice guidelines published by the American Occupational Therapy Association and the World Health Organization.

Dr. Liu is currently accepting PhD students.

Justin R Mason

Justin R Mason PhD

Research Assistant Professor

Justin Mason is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy in the College of Public Health and Health Professions. He completed a B.S (Psychology), M.S. (Exercise Physiology), and Ph.D. (Sport and Exercise Psychology) from Florida State University, followed by postdoctoral training in Rehabilitation Science at the University of Florida. His research focuses on how lifestyle factors influence cardiovascular health, cognitive function, and community mobility. Dr. Mason is the Director of the Mobility, Activity, and Participation (MAP) Lab with projects investigating innovative solutions to optimize driving and community mobility for older adults and special populations. Specifically, Mason’s research focuses to improve interactions with in-vehicle technology so that older adults understand system capabilities and utilize technology to mitigate age-related cognitive decline to support their aging in place.

Linda Struckmeyer

Linda Struckmeyer PhD, OTR/L

Clinical Assistant Professor & Doctoral Capstone Coordinator

Linda R. Struckmeyer, PhD, OTR/L is clinical assistant professor and doctoral capstone coordinator in the Occupational Therapy Department, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida. Dr. Struckmeyer has over 30 years of clinical occupational therapy practice working with individuals across the life span in a wide variety of settings. As an educator, Dr. Struckmeyer coordinates the doctoral capstone experience and projects and teaches Occupation Based Practice: Participation and Health courses in both adults and children and youth. . Dr. Struckmeyer has research experience as an interventionist on a study with Veterans with dementia in their homes and as PI on examining the validity and reliability of a home environmental assessment for persons with dementia and their caregivers. As a result of her expertise working with clients in the home she was invited to serve as a co-principal investigator on HUD project Re-envision. She has also published and presented on these topics.

Hongwu Wang

Hongwu Wang PhD

Assistant Professor And Director, Technology For Occupational Performance (TOP) Lab

Hongwu Wang, PhD, is an assistant professor in the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions, Department of Occupational Therapy. As a biomedical engineer and rehabilitation scientist, he develops and applies well-thought-out technology approaches to address issues in occupational performance, to improve mobility, participation, well-being and quality of life in people with disabilities and older adults. His research focuses on user participatory design, wearable and mHealth, rehabilitation robotics, machine learning, assistive technology, and sensor-based outcome measures. Dr. Wang has received research and training grants from the National Institute on Disability Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), the Administration for Children & Families (ACF), Department of Education, and Craig H. Neilsen Foundation to design, develop and evaluate rehabilitative and assistive technology for patients across the lifespan. Dr. Wang has (co)authored 38 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters; and has presented over 100 scientific abstracts and invited presentations regionally, nationally, and internationally. Dr. Wang holds six patents and four of them had been commercialized. Dr. Wang serves on review panels for Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, NIDILRR and Paralyzed Veterans of American Foundation for more than five years, and review board member for four peered reviewed journals as well an ad-hoc reviewer for more than 30 journals.

Sandra M Winter

Sandra M Winter PhD, OTR/L

Research Assistant Scientist

Sandra Winter, PhD, OTR/L is a Research Assistant Scientist in the Department of Occupational Therapy, Associate Director of the University of Florida’s Institute for Mobility, Activity, and Participation (I-MAP). She graduated in 2009 with a PhD in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Florida. Dr. Winter studies driver screening and simulator-based driving interventions, and coordinates a FDOT project to catalog and promote alternative transportation for aging road users. Her research interests include qualitative research, health promotion and wellness, community mobility, and caregiving. Her clinical expertise includes work with older adults addressing driving safety, dementia, caregiving and pediatrics, through her work with children who have multiple disabilities and sensory processing disorders. She mentors undergraduate and graduate students in UF’s College of Public Health and Health Professions, including mentees in the Bachelor in Health Science program, the Masters in Occupational Therapy program, the Doctorate in Occupational Therapy program and the Rehabilitation Science Doctoral Program.