Denise Tate, PhD, ABPP, FACRM
University of Michigan Spinal Cord Injury System Professor
Clinical Psychologist and Associate Chair for Research, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Michigan

Dr. Tate is a Professor and Associate Chair for Research in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor.  She leads the Michigan Spinal Cord Injury Systems (MSCIS) which includes a number of key research projects conducting research in SCI.  Her current funding includes the U.S. Department of Defense SCIR program, the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, The Craig Neilsen Foundations, and the Fraternal Order of the Eagles.  Her research focuses on psychological adaptation after injury and on measuring health and quality of life outcomes.  Since 2011, she has been conducting a large study examining the effects of bowel and bladder complications on quality of life after SCI.  She served as a member of the Board of the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) and a member of the Advisory Board of the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research at the NIH.  Most recently, she has begun focusing her research on international efforts and collaborations with other centers conducting similar research around the world. 


Associated Faculty

Anthony Chiodo, MD

Anne Kathleen Pelletier Cameron, MD

Lisa A. DiPonio, MD

Gianna Maria M. Rodriguez, MD 
Assistant Professor

Dr. Rodriguez, is Board Certified in SCI medicine and is on the PM&R SCI Consultation Team. Her research interests include SCI, musculoskeletal rehabilitation and traumatic brain injury (TBI). She was Chief Resident in PM&R at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, and Advanced Fellow in SCI Medicine at the Veterans Affairs North Texas Health Care System in Dallas. Dr. Rodriguez is the PM&R Administrator and Manager for the Michigan Bowel Control Program and on staff for the Adult Ventilator Program here at the University of Michigan Health System.



Martin Forchheimer, MPP
Senior Research Associate, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Michigan

Mr. Forchheimer is a researcher in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at the University of Michigan. He is the Principal Investigator for a study developing a measure of the quality of caregiving experienced by people with SCI that is funded by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. He is also a Co-Investigator and Study Coordinator for several other studies concerning people with SCI or SCD. His research focuses on adjustment, quality of life, measurement issues, community integration, and physical and mental health after disability.

Connie Pines, RN, CCM
Research Assistant, Community Outreach and Recruitment

Constance Pines joined the project staff at the University of Michigan Spinal Cord Injury Model System in March 2011. Her area of expertise for the past 37 years has been as Nurse Case Manager with Cardiothoracic Surgery/ Cardiology specialty services at U-M and The Ann Arbor VA Medical Center. Ms. Pines currently has oversight responsibilities for three research grants. Ms. Pines is the widow of a former U-M Spinal Cord Model System patient and therefore has hands-on experience and critical knowledge of the challenges facing those people with spinal cord injuries.

Suzanne Walsh, MBA/MA
Research Area Specialist Associate

Suzanne joined the project staff in December 2017. She has an MBA with Marketing specialization from Eastern Michigan University, and an MA in Anthropology with Cultural specialization from Wayne State University. Prior to joining PM&R, Suzanne held a variety of appointments at the University of Michigan including positions in research, program management, and teaching. She is currently the study coordinator for Neurogenic Bowel and Bladder Management after SCI where she is utilizing her background in qualitative research to understand patient decision-making.

Ellen Wolgat, BS

Ellen joined the Michigan Spinal Cord Injury System as a clinical research coordinator in February 2019. Her current projects include the wireless motility capsule for neurogenic bowel, neurogenic bowel and bladder management after SCI, and developing a patient-centered measure of caregiver relationships. She received a Bachelor of Science in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining the MSCIS team, she worked in the Cognitive and Affective Neuropsychology laboratory at the University of Michigan. She plans to continue working in clinical research to better understand factors involved in successful rehabilitative outcomes.

Lynn Charara, MA
Research Area Specialist Associate

Lynn joined the staff at the University of Michigan MSCIS in August 2019. She works on various research studies, including the Healthy Aging and Socio-Economic Barriers and Facilitators, Chronic Pain, and Reinventing Yourself after SCI. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology from Wayne State University, where she studied the roles of religion and community in food waste management in Muslim households in Dearborn. She is interested in using qualitative research methods to conduct applied and impactful research, particularly to understand the experiences of individuals with SCI.