Director, MS Research
Deborah Backus, PT, PhD, FACRM is a grant-funded investigator, physical therapist, and educator with 30+ years of experience in the neurorehabilitation field. Her mission is to empower patients, students and colleagues to achieve their greatest potential, and to advance rehabilitation science and care. As Director of Multiple Sclerosis Research at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Backus’s research activities have a broad scope that includes facilitating pharmacologic and device-related clinical trials for multiple sclerosis (MS). Her specific research agenda focuses on investigation of models of care and rehabilitation interventions to facilitate greater function, health and quality of life in people with MS. At Shepherd she has been instrumental in facilitating clinician involvement in research activities, translation of evidence into practice, uptake of technology into clinical programs, and incorporating standardized outcome assessment into routine clinical practice to better guide clinical care. Dr. Backus is currently PI for one of the largest PCORI-funded trials in MS evaluating the comparative effectiveness of an evidence based exercise program delivered in a facility or in the home. She has also received funding from the National MS Society, NIH and NIDILRR. Dr. Backus currently serves as an editor for the Archives of Rehabilitation Research & Clinical Translation and is Past President of the ACRM (www.acrm.org), both of which serve the rehabilitation community to empower people with disability to live full and healthy lives.