National Advisory Panel


David Brienza

David Brienza, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology with additional professorial appointments in the Dept. of Bioengineering and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Brienza currently serves as Director of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Telerehabilitation and the RERC on Spinal Cord Injury. He is the former Director of the RERC on Wheeled Mobility. He has worked in the fields of telerehabilitation, wheelchair R&D, pressure ulcer prevention, and seat cushion and support surface R&D since 1987. Dr. Brienza serves on the Board of Directors of the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP). Within NPUAP he has chaired the research Committee. He is a former Board member of the Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Association of North America (RESNA). His professional services also include service on several editorial boards for prominent journals, and participation in extramural funding peer review for NIDRR, NIH, PVA, EPVA, NSF, and Deptartemnt of Commerce. He is appointed as Adjunct Professor at Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China.

CLGraham Headshot 2015

Catherine Leigh Graham

Catherine Leigh Graham, MEBME, is the Executive Director of the South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund which promotes research to develop a better understanding of causes and effective treatment strategies for paralysis, sensory loss and other consequences of spinal cord injury and disease.
Catherine works with the University of South Carolina’s Interagency Office of Disability and Health. Her focuses include accessibility to health care, fitness, recreation and emergency preparedness. She instructs medical students and other healthcare professionals as well as students in physical education.
As a Rehabilitation Engineer she owns an Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA) consulting group, performing ADA assessments and teaching ADA compliance courses. A wheelchair user herself, she has both personal and professional experience regarding the functional needs of people with a variety of disabilities.


Gerald (Jerry) F. Harris

Gerald (Jerry) F. Harris, Ph.D., P.E., is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Marquette University and Director of Orthopaedic Research at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He also directs the clinical Gait Lab at Shrines Hospital for Children in Chicago. As Director of the NIDRR Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) for Children with Orthopaedic Disabilities ( and several NIDRR Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training (ARRT) post-doctoral training grants, Jerry leads a multi-intuitional team focused on the rehabilitative needs of those with Cerebral Palsy, Myelomeningocele, Clubfoot, Spinal Cord Injury, Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle Bone Disease) and other orthopaedic conditions. Jerry has served as president of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS), and the North American Society for Gait and Clinical Motion Analysis (GCMAS). He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), and has authored numerous publications on engineering and clinical topics related to pediatric rehabilitation.

William (Bill) J. Schiller

William (Bill) J. Schiller, Ph.D.,is a Behavioral Consultant who has more than 25 years of experience working with educational and information technologies. He has also worked in clinical applications focusing on positive behavioral support interventions for aggressive behavior. He was a Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Director of Graduate Studies for the Institute on Disability and Human Development at University of Illinois at Chicago. He also served as the Associate Director for Technology for NCHPAD and Rectech for 12 years.


Steve Sprigle

Steve Sprigle, Ph.D., PT, is a Professor of Applied Physiology, Bioengineering and Industrial Design at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His interests include wheelchair use and efficiency, seating, pressure ulcer prevention, wheelchair cushion and support surface testing and assistive technology design. Dr. Sprigle is currently the Director of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Wheeled Mobility.


Donna Spruijt-Metz

Donna Spruijt-Metz, Ph.D., is Associate Professor at University of Southern California’s Department of Preventive Medicine. She is Director, Responsible Conduct in Research for the Keck School of Medicine, and Associate Editor for Pediatric Obesity (formerly International Journal of Pediatric Obesity). Spruijt-Metz’s research focuses on childhood obesity. Recent research includes: 1) a longitudinal study of the impact of puberty on insulin dynamics, mood and physical activity in African American and Latina girls, as part of the USC Center for Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer; 2) an observational in-lab study on the acute effects of sugar-laden diets on behavior, mood, and hormone levels in overweight Hispanic and African American youth, as part of the USC Minority Health Research Center of Excellence, 3) the KNOWME Networks project, developing Wireless Body Area Networks specifically for minority youth for non-intrusive monitoring of metabolic health, vital signs such as heart rate, and physical activity and other obesity-related behaviors, and real-time interventions to treat and prevent obesity, and 4) Virtual Sprouts, a virtual, multiplatform gardening game designed to change dietary knowledge and behavior and prevent obesity in minority youth. She has used media-based interventions to reduce sedentary behavior in middle school minority females, and recently completed the Wellness Partners project with collaborators from USC School of Cinema, developing and testing a mobile, socially networked game to promote physical activity in adults and families. She is also involved in studies using mobile technologies such as ecological momentary assessment to understand obesity-related behavior in youth.