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Michael Boninger, M.D., director of the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute and professor and chair of the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, received the 2016 Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP) Distinguished Academician Award at the association’s annual meeting Friday in Sacramento, Calif. Each year, the AAP honors one academic physiatrist who has achieved distinction and peer recognition regionally or nationally for outstanding performance in teaching, research or administration.
“I feel very lucky to work in a field where I have the opportunity to help people. The University of Pittsburgh and UPMC have provided me the opportunity, support and collaborators to excel in this pursuit,” Dr. Boninger said.
The author of four U.S. patents, Dr. Boninger is recognized for his extensive research on spinal cord injury, assistive technology and overuse injuries, particularly those associated with manual wheelchair propulsion.
Dr. Boninger earned his medical degree at Ohio State University. He completed residencies at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan Medical Center, where he became the chief resident, physical medicine and rehabilitation. He came to the University of Pittsburgh when he won a postdoctoral fellowship in engineering and rehabilitation technology in 1994.
The AAP Distinguished Academician Award was established in 1995. Dr. Boninger is the first faculty member from Pitt’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation to win this national award.