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2014 Fall

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Women’s Disability Researcher and Activist Joins TIRR Memorial Hermann

Senior scientist and research coordinator Margaret A. (Peg) Nosek, Ph.D., will lead the research component and help develop a new dedicated women’s program at TIRR Memorial Hermann Outpatient Medical Clinic. Dr. Nosek, the founder and executive director of the Center for Research on Women with Disabilities at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), is a professor in the department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the institution. She is also adjunct professor in the College of Nursing at Texas Woman’s University in Denton.

During her 30-year tenure at BCM, Dr. Nosek has been awarded more than $15 million in federal and private grant funds for research and training.

Dr. Nosek has served as principal investigator on research grants from the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, and is an internationally recognized authority on the health of women with disabilities. During her 30-year tenure at BCM, she has been awarded more than $15 million in federal and private grant funds for research and training. She has published 85 articles in refereed academic journals and 25 book chapters, and made a vast array of other professional contributions.

Dr. Nosek is a 1984 graduate of The University of Texas at Austin with a doctorate in rehabilitation research. For the first 10 years at BCM, she served as director of research for the Independent Living Research Utilization Program at TIRR Memorial Hermann. In the domain of independent living, she has investigated community integration of women with spinal cord injury, the assessment of independent living outcomes, concepts of independence among persons with disabilities from cultural minority groups, personal assistance services, independent living program operations and management, and disability-related public policy.

In 1993, she established the Center for Research on Women with Disabilities within the department of PM&R at Baylor. Her research and writing have focused on the psychosocial and physical health of women with disabilities, Internet-based interventions, secondary conditions, health promotion, reproductive health care, disability-based health and healthcare disparities, sexuality, self-esteem, spirituality and violence against women with disabilities. Her current work examines the efficacy and effectiveness of health promotion interventions tailored to the concerns of women with physical disabilities and delivered using interactive websites and online virtual immersive environments, specifically Second Life.

As a person with a severe congenital physical disability due to spinal muscular atrophy, she has been a pioneer and activist in the disability rights and independent living movement. She worked closely with Justin W. Dart, Jr. in the 1980s to lay the foundation for and vigorously support passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities has honored her as a "Disability Patriot."