Renee D Theiss, PhD - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Skip to Content


  • Only Hospital Ranked #1 in America by U.S. News & World Report since 1991
  • 800,000+ outpatient visits each year
  • 5,000+ inpatients treated each year, system-wide
  • 50+ sites of care throughout Illinois and Indiana
  • One of only 2% of hospitals to receive two consecutive Magnet Recognitions for Nursing Excellence.
  • 182-bed inpatient hospital in the heart of Chicago
  • Largest rehabilitation research center in the world
  • Only rehabilitation hospital with eight federally designated research centers
  • 370+ active research projects in neuroscience, bionics, robotics, and musculoskeletal medicine
  • Academic home of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Department, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Clinical Trials

Did you know you can help advance the science of rehabilitation medicine while benefiting from the latest research findings?

You can – by joining a clinical trial! See a list of our Research Studies & Clinical Trials.

Your RIC Doctor Search Result

Renee D. Theiss

Renee D. Theiss, PhD

  • Research Scientist, SMPP, RIC
  • Research Assistant Professor, Feinberg School of Medicine, NU



Education, Residency and Internship


Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, BS, Exercise Science, Magna cum Laude
Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, PhD in Neuroscience


Sensory Motor Performance Program, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicag, Postdoctoral Fellowship
Department of Physiology, Northwestern University, Chicago/Evanston, IL, Postdoctoral Fellowship

Honors & Awards

2007-2009 Craig H. Neilsen Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship Award
1997-1998 University Scholar in the Graduate School, Northwestern University
1996 Graduated Magna Cum Laude, Ithaca College
1996 Professional Excellence Award in Exercise and Sport Sciences, Ithaca College
1996 Foundation Award in Mathematics, Ithaca College
1996 Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society, Ithaca College
1993 Freshman Award in Mathematics and Computer Science, Ithaca College
1993 Oracle Society (Freshman Honor Society), Ithaca College
1992-1996 Ithaca College 4yr Scholarship


Refereed Journals
Heckman CJ, Mottram C, Quinlan K, Theiss R, and Schuster J. (2009) Motoneuron excitability: The importance of neuromodulatory inputs. Clin Neurophysiol. 2009 Dec;120(12):2040-54. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2009.08.009. Epub 2009 Sep 27.

Theiss RD, Kuo JJ & Heckman CJ (2007) Persistent inward currents in rat ventral horn neurones. Journal of Physiology 580, 507-522.
(Commentary on publication in: Rose PK (2007) Persistence has its own reward: repetitive firing of action potentials in neurons. J of Physiol 580, 357.)

Theiss RD, Heckman CJ (2005) Systematic variation in effects of serotonin and norepinephrine on repetitive firing properties of ventral horn neurons. Neuroscience 134:803-815.

Chen D, Theiss RD, Ebersole K, Miller JF, Rymer WZ and Heckman CJ (2001) Spinal Interneurons That Receive Input From Muscle Afferents Are Differentially Modulated by Dorsolateral Descending Systems. J of Neurophysiol 85:1005-1008.


Theiss, RD, Hornby, TG, Rymer, WZ, and Schmidt, BD, (2011) Riluzole decreases flexion withdrawal response in humans with chronic spinal cord injury J Neurophysiol. 2011 Jun;105(6):2781-90. doi: 10.1152/jn.00570.2010. Epub 2011 Mar 23.

Research Interests

spinal cellular mechanisms underlying hyperactive reflexes and loss of motor control in human chronic spinal cord injury (SCI). In particular, she is interested in muscle activity and force production during involuntary movements (e.g. reflex responses) and voluntary movements (e.g. maximum strength) and is investigating differences within these motor control factors between individuals with SCI and individuals without neurological injuries. In addition, she is researching the impact of persistent cellular conductances that may contribute to these differences by using specific medications known to decrease these conductances in animal studies

Related Documents

Office Information