Frank DeRuyter, PhD - Co-PI

Serves as Co-PI for the RERC. Frank is Professor (tenured) Department of Surgery/Chief, Division of Speech Pathology & Audiology at Duke University Medical Center. Prior to coming to Duke in 1995, he was at Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center for 15 years in various leadership capacities. As Co-PI, Frank will provide overall direction & administrative RERC oversight, direct Duke’s overall participation, and serve as co-investigator on several projects.

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Mike Jones, PhD - Co-PI

Serves as the other Co-PI for the RERC. Mike is Vice President for Research and Technology and founding Director of the Virginia C. Crawford Research Institute at Shepherd Center. Mike is also an adjunct professor in the School of Architecture at Georgia Tech and Co-PI of the Wireless RERC. Prior to coming to Shepherd Center in 1996, Mike was executive director of the Center for Universal Design at NC State University, a NIDRR-funded RERC.  Mike served as associate director of the Research and Training Center on Independent Living at University of Kansas from 1982-1988.  As Co-PI, Mike will provide strategic leadership for the RERC, direct Shepherd Center’s overall participation, and assist on several R&D projects as needed.

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John Morris, PhD - Project Director & Program Director

Is a clinical research scientist at the Shepherd Center who will serve as Program Director for the LiveWell-RERC and Project Director for the App Factory project. Additionally, he will conduct user-centered research on use and usability of wearable and monitoring/control technology by target populations, which he currently does for the Wireless RERC. John has served as operations manager and project director for consumer research for the Wireless RERC.  John previously worked for Oracle Corporation as senior product development manager.    


Christine Gordon, MPH - Operations Manager

Christine is the Associate Director and Senior Project Manager at Northeastern University's Consortium on Technology for Proactive Care, a collaboration between the Khoury College of Computer Sciences and the Bouvé College of Health Science. She has a BA and an MPH, both from Northeastern. Prior to joining the LiveWell RERC, she managed several multidisciplinary centers and projects focused on modifying behavior and the environment to achieve better health outcomes. She currently works on usability testing wearables and other commercially-available sensors as well as coaching for health behavior change.

Photo Credit:  Mitya Ku

Kevin Caves, ME, ATP, RET - Project Director

Coordinates the LiveWell-RERC engineering team. He holds faculty appointments in the Departments of Surgery, Medicine and Biomedical Engineering at Duke University. He is an Instructor in the Pratt School of Engineering and a Clinical Associate in the Departments of Surgery and Medicine at Duke University Medical Center. He coordinates Duke’s Assistive Technology Clinic that provides assistive technology services to people with disabilities.  In addition to teaching and clinical responsibilities, he conducts research in the area of rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology.

Photo Credit:  dimnikolov

Holly Jimison, PhD - Project Director

Holly serves as subcontract PI for the LiveWell RERC. She manages all technology aspects of the RERC and coordinates study participant research in Boston locations. Dr. Jimison is a professor of practice at Northeastern University in both the Khoury College of Computer Sciences and Bouvé College of Health Sciences. She previously was an associate professor in medical informatics and clinical epidemiology with a joint appointment in biomedical engineering at Oregon Health & Science University, where her research involved technology for successful aging and scalable remote care. She is also the director of the Northeastern-based Consortium on Technology for Proactive Care, which has been created to develop a technology infrastructure for sustainable interventions that support continuity of care outside a hospital setting and promote long-term health behavior change.

hoto Credit:  Peter Hellberg

Ben Lippincott - Project Director

Is a research project coordinator at Shepherd Center and will oversee training activities of the LiveWell-RERC.  He is currently Project Director of the Wireless RERC’s project on Industry and Consumer Outreach, Education & Support. He has worked in assistive/accessible technology for over a decade. For the past several years he has been disability/accessibility advisor on AT&T’s Advisory Panel on Access and Aging. Prior to working at Shepherd Center, he was in sales/marketing for IBM.


Misha Pavel, PhD - Project Director

Misha is a co-investigator for the RERC. Dr. Pavel will be responsible for the computational modeling aspects required for the new approaches to inferring patient activities in the home. He is a professor of practice at Northeastern University in both the Khoury College of Computer Science and the Bouvé College of Health Sciences. He also co-directs the Consortium on Technology for Proactive Care. Previously, Professor Pavel was the director of the Smart and Connected Health Program at the National Science Foundation, a program co-sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. Earlier, he served as the chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Oregon Health & Science University, a Technology Leader at AT&T Laboratories, a member of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories, and faculty member at Stanford University and New York University.

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Ron Seel, PhD, FACRM - Project Director

Is Director of Brain Injury Research at Shepherd Center and serves as lead investigator on the Safety Research and Development Project. Dr. Seel has significant experience in research methods, measurement and outcomes research, and has led a program of research on safety in the home and community following TBI for the last 6 years. He serves on the ACRM Board of Governors, chairs the ACRM Evidence and Practice Committee, and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. Dr. Seel graduated from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA and completed his MS and PhD in Counseling Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. He was competitively awarded and completed pre- and post-doctoral research fellowships in Rehabilitation and Clinical Neuropsychology at the Medical College of Virginia.

Tracey Wallace, MS, CCC-SLP

Tracey Wallace, is a Speech-Language Pathologist at Shepherd Center, in Atlanta, Georgia where she specializes in brain injury rehabilitation. In addition to providing speech-language-cognitive services to patients, she also performs clinical research, provides mentorship to staff and participates in community outreach and advocacy. She has published and lectured nationally on outcomes, functional interventions and the use of technology in rehabilitation for brain injury. Tracey is currently a co-investigator on several active grant funded research projects focused on development and testing of emerging technologies for cognitive rehabilitation. 

Leighanne Jarvis (nee Davis), BS - Research and Development Engineer

Leighanne serves as a Research and Development Engineer for the LiveWell RERC. She is based out of Duke University’s Department of Surgery. She recently earned her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from NC State University. While at NC State she conducted research on dogs with spinal cord injuries and exoskeletons for rehabilitation and military purposes. Her senior capstone project focused on assistive devices for home use that allowed for clinicians to monitor patient progress from afar.  

Nicole Thompson, MPH - Project Manager for R3 & D3

Nicole Thompson is the ABI Research Program Manager at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia. She will act as Project Manager for the research project, Improving Safety & Activity Independence in the Home/Community following TBI and the development project, Behavioral Informatics to Support Safety & Activity Independence in the Home/Community.  She is also a Certified Health Educational Specialist (CHES). She graduated from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health with a MPH focusing in Behavioral Sciences. She has 12 years of experience coordinating and implementing grant funded research projects in ABI research.

Tolu Oyesanya, PhD, RN - Postdoctoral Fellow

Tolu is a Postdoctoral Fellow in brain injury research at the Crawford Research Institute, located in Shepherd Center, Atlanta, GA.  She has experience conducting research on nursing care of patients with TBI, community engagement for patients with TBI, management of chronic conditions, depression treatment in the African Americans, and the influence of sleep on mild cognitive impairment. Her current research focuses on supporting patients with TBI and their families as they transition home from the hospital, with an emphasis on decreasing rehospitalizations after discharge.

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Iman Khagani-Far, PhD - Postdoctoral Reseach Assistant

Iman is a postdoctoral research associate at Northeastern University. Dr. Khaghani Far is a member of Consortium on Technology for Proactive Care where his focus is on development and evaluation of modular research tools for ambient and biological data collection and health coaching technologies. Prior to joining Northeastern University, he worked on persuasive technologies to motivate and assist independent-living older adults at home to maintain their physical activity. He collaborated in the development of several health coaching platform and is enthusiastic about IOT and use of novel interfaces for home coaching.