RIC Names Richard Lieber Chief Scientist, SVP Research - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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Published on March 13, 2014

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Names Richard Lieber as Chief Scientist and Senior Vice President of Research

RIC Names Richard Lieber Chief Scientist, SVP ResearchCHICAGO – The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) has named renowned translational research expert Richard L. Lieber, PhD, as Senior Vice President of Research and Chief Scientist. Lieber, whose extensive research focuses on the science and physiology of skeletal muscle, will lead RIC in dramatically transforming the paradigm of physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Recognized for more than 20 years as the nation's best rehabilitation hospital, RIC is disrupting the field yet again with its new model of patient care. This novel model of care will set the global standard for delivering better and faster outcomes for patients. Central to this progressive approach is the fluid integration of researchers, engineers, doctors, nurses, therapists and patients collaborating to identify real-time research breakthroughs that translate immediately to patient care.

"We are thrilled to have an internationally-lauded scientist of Dr. Lieber's caliber bring his expertise and talent to our cutting-edge work," said Dr. Joanne C. Smith, RIC President and CEO. "His extensive translational research and leadership acumen align with our vision to fully integrate science and clinical care."

Lieber leaves his post as Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Bioengineering at the Whitaker Institute for Biomedical Engineering, University of California, San Diego. His arrival comes at a pivotal point in the rapidly-developing science and technology of physical medicine and rehabilitation, and as RIC prepares its new research hospital, the Ability Institute of RIC™. 

"RIC has always been revolutionary," said Lieber. "I have built my career around finding better, faster ways to help patients. My RIC colleagues and I will work to harness the power of what we know with what we can imagine to significantly advance our patients' abilities and our field."

RIC's current SVP Research W. Zev RymerHe takes on the leadership role from Dr. W. Zev Rymer, the second scientist hired by RIC 25 years ago. Rymer is the physician scientist considered to be the founder of the successful research enterprise of today's RIC – the largest and most internationally-revered of its kind.

Rymer will continue to lead his successful Sensory Motor Performance Program laboratories and will work with Smith on leadership transition through the end of the year.

"RIC owes an enormous debt to Zev," said Smith. "His counsel, brilliant research, visionary leadership and passionate commitment to driving innovation and exploration will remain as invaluable gifts to the RIC community."

About the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) is the nation’s #1-ranked provider of comprehensive physical medicine and rehabilitation care to patients from around the world. Ranked #1 by both U.S. News and World Report and the U.S. National Institutes of Health, RIC holds an unparalleled market distinction.

With a record eight multi-year, multi-million dollar federal research designations awarded and funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Education’s National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research in the areas of spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, neurological rehabilitation, outcomes research, bionic medicine/rehabilitation engineering research, and pediatric orthopedics, RIC operates the largest rehabilitation research enterprise in the world.

RIC also operates its 182-bed, flagship hospital in downtown Chicago, as well as a network of more than 40 sites of care distributed throughout the Midwest, through which it delivers inpatient, day rehabilitation, and outpatient services.

Founded in 1954, RIC has been designated the “#1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America” by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1991. RIC sets the standard of care in the post-acute market through its innovative applied research and discovery programs, particularly in the areas of neuroscience, bionic medicine, musculoskeletal medicine and technology transfer. For more information, go to www.ric.org.

Journalists contact: mediarelations@ric.org, 312-238-4571.

All others contact: webmaster@ric.org.