Abel promoted to faculty
On August 1, the Program in Occupational Therapy promoted Regina Abel, PhD, to faculty as an instructor in occupational therapy and medicine. Her scholarly work focuses on the study of human-animal interaction, particularly animal assisted therapy. Abel is currently investigating the effect of service dog training on female offenders, the use of dogs to ameliorate student stress and stress in health-care providers, the feasibility of using therapy dogs to augment pediatric occupational therapy sessions, and the possible role of therapy dogs in improving health and fitness in persons with mental illness.
Abel earned her PhD in developmental psychobiology at Indiana University and studied prenatal and early postnatal development, including experiments on two space shuttle missions. Her earlier work included the effects of environmental factors following neonatal brain injury in rats and mice. For the past eight years, she served as a senior scientist in Dr. Allison King’s Child and Health Education Laboratory. She will continue to work with laboratory team members to study cognition and educational outcomes in children with sickle cell disease or following pediatric brain tumors.