You are here

Laura K. Vogtle, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Laura K. Vogtle, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA Professor
Room 338 SHPB
Department of Occupational Therapy
Univesity of Alabama at Birmingham
1705 University Blvd
Birmingham, AL 35294-1212
Phone: 205 –934 -7326
Full CV

After receiving a BS degree in occupational therapy from Virginia Commonwealth University, I worked at 2 separate pediatric facilities, Children’s Hospital of DC, and then the University of Virginia (UVA) Children’s Rehabilitation Center where I stayed for a number of years, moving from a clinician to a department manager. At UVA, there were rich opportunities to work in research projects with both physicians and engineering faculty. I went on to graduate school for an MEd and PhD in educational psychology from the Curry School of Education at UVA. After graduation I moved to UAB because of the numerous opportunities for research engagement. Over the last 20 years I have had grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation, as well as being co-investigator in industry-funded projects and telehealth intervention on weight management in persons with traumatic brain injury funded by NIDILRR. My most recent award was from the Alabama Council on Developmental Disabilities to address physical activity in adolescents with Down syndrome, a group known for high rates of obesity. My interests in persons with disabilities has led me to collaborate with students in engineering funded by the National Science Foundation to develop equipment for persons with disabilities, as well as being co-investigator on a Department of Education training grant funded for 3 five year cycles with Dr. Jennifer Kilgo.

Research Interests:

My early research interests addressed factors that affected function and quality of life in persons with various disabilities. Funding from the CDC addressed community mobility and quality of life in persons with epilepsy. Recent studies in pain and fatigue found in adults with cerebral palsy led to the award from the Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation which addressed these factors using an exercise intervention. In both this study and the CDC award on community mobility highlighted concerns with obesity for persons with disabilities. The ability to move within the home, maintain care assistants, as well as accessing public transportation, were significantly affected by obesity. A small but growing body of evidence regarding the incidence of metabolic syndrome in adults with cerebral palsy underscored this concern. Despite several unsuccessful efforts at funding, this remains an area of interest and has extended to adults with traumatic brain injury. The ongoing NIDILRR-funded telehealth project incorporates the EatRight weight management services delivered by phone. That project, as well as the Alabama Council on Developmental Disabilities award to address exercise in adolescents with Down syndrome has underscored the special challenges of addressing obesity and exercise in populations where cognitive limitations exist, which is an ongoing national concern.