Dr. Ann M. Spungen is trained as an applied physiologist and statistician from Columbia University in New York. She is the associate director of the VA Rehabilitation Research and Development National Center of Excellence for the Medical Consequences of Spinal Cord Injury, which is located at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in Bronx, NY. In addition to her role as a VA scientist with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Spungen is an associate professor of Medicine and Rehabilitation Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.
Dr. Spungen has been working for the past 25 years on studies that focus on treatments and therapies to reduce the secondary medical and health-related consequences of paralysis from spinal cord injury. In those with paralysis, she has studied body composition changes, metabolic disorders, osteoporosis, pulmonary function abnormalities, gastrointestinal dysfunction, and the predisposition to cardiovascular disease. She has published more than 120 peer-reviewed manuscripts in this field. Since 2011, Dr. Spungen has been investigating the effects of exoskeletal-assisted walking in persons with paralysis from spinal cord injury and has become an authority in this field. She is working with several investigators across the country to study the effects of exoskeletal-assisted walking on mobility and health benefits for persons with spinal cord injury.
Always in high demand on the lecture circuit for her experience and knowledge on the adverse health consequences of spinal cord injury, Dr. Spungen has meaningfully advanced our understanding of the benefits to health provided by permitting persons with spinal cord injury to walk with the aid of a powered exoskeleton. In recognition of her many and significant accomplishments, Dr. Spungen along with her colleague Dr. William A. Bauman, received the 2014 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Award in Science and the Environment.