Rehabilitation and Neural Engineering Laboratory

Michael Boninger, MD

  • Professor
  • Administrative Director

Michael Boninger, MD is a tenured professor and UPMC endowed vice chair for research in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. He is senior medical director for Post-Acute Care for the Health Service Division of UPMC and vice president for Medical Affairs for Community Provider Services. Dr. Boninger holds secondary appointments in the Departments of Bioengineering, Rehabilitation Sciences and Technology, Clinical Translational Science Institute, and McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. He is also a physician researcher for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

Dr. Boninger holds 4 United States patents and has received numerous honors, including being inducted into the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science. He has mentored over 100 students, ranging from undergraduates to medical students, and doctoral and postdoctoral trainees since joining the department in 1994. His students have won over 50 national awards.

Research Interest Summary

Assistive technology, biomechanics, neuroprosthetics, spinal cord injury, wheelchairs, regenerative medicine, teaching research

Research Interests

Dr. Boninger‚ÄĚs central research focus is on enabling increased function and participation for individuals with disabilities through development and application of assistive, rehabilitative and regenerative technologies. Dr. Boninger is the director of the University of Pittsburgh Model Center on Spinal Cord Injury, a National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) Center of Excellence, he is also PI or Co-PI on several projects funded by DARPA and NIH.

Dr. Boninger also has extensive experience and publications related to training researchers. He is co-director and PI for the Rehabilitation Medicine Scientist Training Program (RMSTP), which is an NIH funded grant that provides mentorship for physician researchers across the country. Dr. Boninger is also C0-I and former PI on the Alliance for Regenerative Rehabilitation Research and Training (AR3T). This NIH funded national center is charged with elevating the science of regenerative rehabilitation. Dr. Boninger has an extensive publication record of over 20 book chapters and over 250 published papers.