MedStar NRH Researcher Barbara S. Bregman Recipient of 2016 Goldschmidt Award | MedStar Health

MedStar NRH Researcher Barbara S. Bregman Recipient of 2016 Goldschmidt Award

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Barbara Bregman holds her 28th Annual John W. Goldschmidt AwardWashington, D.C., – June 17, 2016 – Barbara S. Bregman, PhD, senior research scientist and director of education and training with MedStar NRH Research Division, and a professor in the Departments of Neuroscience and Rehabilitation Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center and the Center for Brain Plasticity at Georgetown University, is the recipient of the 28th Annual John W. Goldschmidt Award. Dr. Bregman presented a lecture on Brain Spasticity during the annual program and award ceremony on Friday, June 10 at MedStar NRH’s Irving Street campus.

Dr. Bregman has a long-standing interest in the recovery of function after a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury, from both clinical and scientific perspectives. Dr. Bregman received her bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Russell Sage College in Troy, NY in 1971, and practiced clinically for a number of years, specializing in central nervous system disorders. She received her PhD from the Department of Anatomy at the Medical College of Pennsylvania.

After postdoctoral research training in neural tissue transplantation techniques, Dr. Bregman established an independent research program that has focused on central nervous system development, plasticity, regeneration, and recovery of function after spinal cord injury in neonatal and adult mammals.

Her research program has been internationally recognized and has been NIH-funded for more than 25 years. The long-range goal of her research has been to identify the requirements of developing and mature central nervous system neurons for survival and axonal regeneration after injury and to identify ways to enhance regenerative growth and recovery of function after spinal cord injury at birth or at maturity.

During her lecture, Dr. Bregman discussed the various parts of the brain that helps the body with movement. She compared the human spine to that of a cat’s spine, which she studied in research situations to show how the human nervous system works. She delved into how activity – physical therapy being chief among those activities – can play a crucial role following a central nervous system injury – brain or spinal. “Age and activity are two very critical factors following a central nervous system injury,” said Dr. Bregman, “but activity itself can help determine the nature and extent of plasticity.”

She did all of her research with many other scientists and researchers through the years who she admires and exchanges ideas with. She truly enjoys this type of environment and says it leads to ways to find the best possible results in the field.

“I believe in an environment where there is a strong exchange of ideas and a culture of learning,” said Dr. Bregman, who also helped establish the nationally accredited MedStar NRH/George Washington University Physical Therapy Neuroresidency Program. “This approach changed the way I think about science and ideas.”

She encouraged all of those in attendance to be bold, think big, expect the unexpected and look for positive growth.

“I’m honored to receive this award,” added Dr. Bregman. “I wouldn’t be here receiving this if there were not people in my life that helped me grow, personally and professionally.”

The Goldschmidt Award and Lecture is a prestigious honor at MedStar NRH. It serves to honor the years and effort devoted by MedStar NRH’s founding medical director, John W. Goldschmidt, who worked towards enhancing an interdisciplinary team approach to patient care. The recipients of the award are those who are motivated to positively influence both fields of physical medicine and rehabilitation.


About MedStar National Rehabilitation Network

The MedStar National Rehabilitation Network (MedStar NRH) is a regional system of rehabilitation care that offers inpatient, day treatment and outpatient services in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia.

The Network’s interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation experts provides comprehensive services to help people recover as fully as possible following illness and injury.  Rehabilitation medicine specialists, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists work hand-in-hand with other rehab professionals to design treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs.  Rehabilitation plans feature a team approach and include the use of state-of-the-art technology and advanced medical treatment based on the latest rehabilitation research.  

The Network provides comprehensive programs specifically designed to aid in the rehabilitation of adults and children recovering from neurologic and orthopedic conditions such as amputation, arthritis, back and neck pain, brain injury, cancer, cardiac conditions, concussion, fibromyalgia, foot and ankle disorders, hand and upper extremity problems, post-polio syndrome, stroke, spinal cord injury and disease, and sports and work-related injuries.

Inpatient and day treatment programs are provided at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital located in Northwest Washington, DC and at more than 50 outpatient sites conveniently located throughout the region.  MedStar NRH is consistently ranked by physicians in U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s “Best Hospitals” for Rehabilitation, and is fully accredited by The Joint Commission,  the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), with CARF accredited specialty programs for Amputations, Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury and Stroke.

For more on MedStar NRH and to find a location near you, log on to

For Immediate Release:
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Derek Berry

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