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Rory A. Cooper, PhD

  • ​FISA and Paralyzed Veterans of America Chair
  • Distinguished Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology
  • Professor of Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering, Physical Medicine and Rehab, and Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh

​Dr. Rory Cooper is the founding director at the Human Engineering Research Laboratories, a VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Center of Excellence in partnership with Pitt. Also, he serves as co-director of the NSF Quality of Life Technology Engineering Research Center, a joint Pitt-Carnegie Mellon University venture.

Dr. Cooper has authored or co-authored more than 250 peer-reviewed journal publications and two books, including the award-winning “Care of the Combat Amputee.” He is an avid wheelchair athlete and past world/ national record holder at various distances in wheelchair racing.

A U.S. Army veteran with a spinal cord injury, Dr. Cooper is the director of the Paralyzed Veterans of America Research Foundation. In 2009, Dr. Cooper was featured on a Cheerios cereal box for his achievements and, a year later, was pictured with one of his robots in Popular Science for his robotics work aiding older adults and people with disabilities.