AOA Research Grants

Over $1 million awarded to DOs and researchers to bolster osteopathic research

Research projects with an osteopathic focus will help broaden the evidence base of the osteopathic approach to diagnosis and treatment.


The AOA has recently awarded over $1 million in research grants to eight principal investigators, including five DOs, who will use the funds to conduct osteopathically focused research projects.

The grants will allow researchers to demonstrate the value osteopathic physicians offer patients and the greater health care community.

“These grants have the potential to help recipients get to the next phase of their research efforts,” says Kenya McRae, the AOA’s vice president of research. “We hope the recipients will also help to mentor and inspire future researchers in the profession as well.”

Increasing the impact of osteopathic research is one of the key tenets of the AOA’s strategic plan. The grants will support five chosen research focus areas:

  • Chronic diseases and conditions.
  • Musculoskeletal injuries and prevention.
  • Osteopathic manipulative treatment and osteopathic manipulative medicine.
  • Osteopathic philosophy.
  • Pain management.

Grant periods range from 18 to 24 months. Recipients are strongly encouraged to ultimately submit their research for publication in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

Missed this round of grant funding, but interested in future AOA grant opportunities? The AOA will begin accepting applications for the next phase of grant funding to help broaden the osteopathic evidence base beginning November 1, 2017. The deadline for all RFAs is January 31, 2018. Visit the Research and Development page on for more information.

Here’s a list of the eight researchers, their institutions and their research projects.

  • John C. Licciardone, DO, MS, MBA, University of North Texas Health Science Center Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine: The osteopathic approach to chronic pain management: Assessing its biopsychosocial processes and relationships to clinical outcomes.
  • Rebecca Wyatt, DO, Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MSUCOM) in East Lansing: The effect of OMT on functional outcomes and anti-inflammatory biomarkers in mild to moderate traumatic brain injury.
  • Melissa G. Pearce, DO, Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Vallejo, California: Reducing Inflammation with Osteopathic Treatment (RIOT Study).
  • Rebecca Malouin, PhD, MPH, MS, MSUCOM: The osteopathic philosophy and patient experience of care.
  • Per Gunnar Brolinson, DO, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine-Virginia Campus in Blacksburg: Head impact biomechanics, concussion and osteopathic structural diagnosis and treatment.
  • Elizabeth Beverly, PhD, Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine at Athens: Achieving a high level of wellness by focusing on the impact of diabetes distress in rural Appalachia.
  • Hollis King, DO, PhD, University of California, San Diego: Effects of osteopathic manipulative treatment on gain biomechanics in Parkinson’s disease.
  • Venkat Venkataraman, MS, PhD, Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford, New Jersey: Development of a serum biomarker-based approach to monitor opioid adherence and minimize substance misuse in chronic pain management.

One comment

  1. Robert S Juhasz, DO

    Well published research on the impact of the osteopathic approach to patient care and osteopathic manipulative treatment creates professional visibility and the opportunities for DO’s and the osteopathic medical profession to continue to make significant contributions to improving care for people we are privileged to treat and care for.
    This also provides the tools for helping all in the caring professions to be better able to understand the concepts and utilization of the care that DO’s provide. Looking forward to the outcomes of this important work!
    Robert S Juhasz, DO, FACOI, AOA Past President

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