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The Veterans Disability & Rehabilitation Research Channel – Meet the Editors

Today sees the launch of the first PLOS Veterans Disability & Rehabilitation Research Channel. Channels are resources for communities: a single destination that features curated content selected from PLOS journals as well as the broader literature, supplemented by commentary, blogs, news and discussions. The content included in a Channel is selected by experts in their field, known as Channel Editors.

The Veterans Disability and Rehabilitation Research Channel features articles on a wide range of topics relevant to veteran disability and rehabilitation research. The Channel editors aim to showcase the most up to date research to assist veterans and all adults around the world with chronic illness and disability. This is a massively multidisciplinary field, which makes PLOS ONE in particular a perfect new home for this community, and you can read the full scope of topics here.

The Veterans Disability and Rehabilitation Research Channel was developed with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development Service as a new home for the community previously served by the Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD). The scope of the Channel was developed with the Channel Editors, all of whom previously served on the Editorial Board of the JRRD and will be responsible for curating the content that goes into the Channel.

Meet The Channel Editors

Thomas E Stripling

thomasHaving served in the previous fifteen years as a JRRD associate editor, I’m very supportive of PLOS as a credible and sustainable online reincarnation as a worldwide scientific resource for veterans and those dedicated to meeting their health-related needs. My career spans 40+ years in NGO program development, management, advocacy, and health services research; 30 years of which with Paralyzed Veterans of America, a U.S. veterans’ service organization dedicated to veterans with spinal cord injury/dysfunction. My professional anchor has been quantitative analysis particularly of socio-demographics, economic consequences, and program outcomes.

Lisa Brenner


I am a Board Certified Rehabilitation Psychologist, and a Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), Psychiatry, and Neurology at the University of Colorado, Anschutz School of Medicine, and the Director of the Veterans Health Administration Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC). I am also the Research Director for the Department of PM&R and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Division 22, Rehabilitation Psychology. My primary area of research interest is traumatic brain injury, co-morbid psychiatric disorders, and negative psychiatric outcomes including suicide.  It is imperative that scientists and consumers explore novel and innovative strategies to share research findings. Towards this end, as an editor of the PLOS Channel for Veterans Disability and Rehabilitation Research, I look forward to highlighting research aimed at helping Veterans with disability and/or chronic illness increase function and participation in daily life.


Mary Elizabeth Bowen

Libbey_1I am a social gerontologist with interests in health disparities research and efficacy trials of health care technologies to inform translational research and system-wide implementation. I received my PhD in the Sociology of Aging and Population Health from Virginia Tech and have a Certificate in Gerontology and Race and Social Policy. I have examined racial and socioeconomic inequalities across the life span; specifically how long-term social (e.g., childhood and adulthood socioeconomic conditions, race/ethnicity), and behavioral (e.g., physical activity, obesity) determinants of disease affect mobility and functioning in later life. In my work, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, I have examined how access to health care may account for differences in physical and cognitive functioning among older minority populations. At the School of Nursing at the University of Delaware, I am funded by an RR&D Career Development Award from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and focus on leveraging innovative real-time tracking technology to improve functioning and patient care in a geriatric population.

Yih-Kuen Jan

I am an Associate Professor and Director of Rehabilitation Engineering Lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). I obtained my PhD in Rehabilitation Science and completed my Postdoc in Rehabilitation Technology from the University of Pittsburgh. My research focuses on the development of assistive devices and technologies for people with disabilities and the promotion of social inclusion of people with disabilities, having published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers and 80 proceeding papers in the process. I am the Chair of Scientific Papers and a member of the Assistive Technology Standards Board and the Research Committee of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA). My research has been supported by the Paralyzed Veterans of America Research Foundation (PVA), NIH, and NIDILRR. I am passionate about advancing knowledge to help veterans with disabilities and, having been an editorial board member of JRRD, was very keen to become an editor of the PLOS Channel for Veterans Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

You can check out the Veteran Disability & Rehabilitation Research Channel at 

  1. I was born to a career army man whose life was cut short after 29 years serving my country only to retire and die at a very young age. I being the last child born at Walson Army Hospital in 1964. In 1969 my brother hit the lottery but not the one any one could ever have wished for. He served his country faithfully and even protected Bob Hope during the Vietnam War only to come home damaged. His addiction to opioids-poppies that grew freely in the provinces of Son La, Lai Chau, Ha Giang and the central province of Nghe. Then came the spraying of Agent Orange that contained the chemical Dioxin. He died a painful death but lived a more painful life-for what ? Does anyone know the answer-please enlighten me.

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