Academy of Research In Occupational Therapy

AOREstablished in 1983, the AOTF Academy of Research in Occupational Therapy recognizes individuals who have made exemplary, distinguished, and sustained contributions toward the science of occupational therapy. Every year, the Academy of Research invites nominations for membership. After consideration of the nominations and supporting materials, the Academy selects individuals to be inducted into this distinguished body of researchers. Normally, inductions occur at the next AOTA Annual Conference and Exposition.  

View Nomination Procedures


View Presentations from the 2022 Academy of Research Inductees and 2022 Early & Mid-Career Awardees

View Presentations from the 2021 Academy of Research Inductees and 2021 Early & Mid-Career Awardees

2024 Inductees to the Academy


Lindy Clemson, PhD, MAppSc (Research), BAppSc (OT), Dip OT, FOTARA, Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sydney School of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney Sydney, Australia


Professor Emeritus Lindy Clemson is a specialist in public health research on ageing and an occupational therapist with a PhD in epidemiology. She has led research and advocacy internationally for best practice in home evaluation and falls prevention using environmental and enablement strategies. Her research has transformed approaches to fall prevention and provided new approaches and strategies to occupational therapy and medical practitioners and to a lay audience.

This work positively impacts the lives of countless older people around the world. Clemson’s contributions have been recognized by national and international entities, including being elected as an inaugural fellow of the Australian Occupational Therapy Research Academy, reflecting her exemplary, distinguished, and sustained contributions to the science of occupational therapy.


Roberta Gittens Pineda, PhD, OTR/L, CNT, Associate Professor, Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, University of Southern California Los Angeles, Calif.


Dr. Roberta Pineda is a tenured Associate Professor and Director of the NICU Laboratory within the Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Southern California. She is also a founder and co-chair of the Neonatal Therapy Certification Board. Dr. Pineda’s impactful research program investigates factors that support or impede the function of infants born prematurely with a long-term goal of developing strategies and interventions that can optimize neurodevelopmental outcomes.

Over the past decade, she has received $7 million in grant funding to support the development and implementation of several innovative programs, assessments, and products that have revolutionized key aspects of the NICU environment, including an evidence-based multimodal program that facilitates positive sensory exposures in the NICU, a standardized neonatal feeding outcome measure, a new bottle technology that paces the timing of food intake, and a community-based program that addresses gaps in therapy services associated with the transition from NICU to home, especially among populations with known health disparities.


Ganesh M. Babulal, PhD, OTD, MSCI, MOT, OTR/L, Associate Professor, Department of Neurology, Knight Alzheimer Disease Research Center, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri


Dr. Ganesh M. Babulal is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Babulal’s research interests reside in investigating the relationship between cognition and mental health and its impact on instrumental activities of daily living in healthy older adults and those with chronic neurological diseases.

Consistent with these interests, his funded research studies include (1) characterizing functional changes in older adults using biomarkers (structural and functional imaging, cerebrospinal fluid, plasma), (2) predicting a decline in performance and behavior via novel methodologies, (3) identifying reliable noncognitive behavioral markers that predict preclinical disease state, and (4) examining the relationship between mental health and cognitive functioning on brain health.

As his research evolved, its progression grew from structural and social determinants of health (SSDOH) and health disparities while addressing the translational gap. This work has scaled up to now examine how upstream SSDOH factors impact adverse health outcomes in underrepresented, minoritized groups in the United States and vulnerable populations in Low and Middle-Income Countries.



Members of the Academy of Research

View Full List of Academy of Research Members At-A-Glance. * indicates a deceased member.

Annette Majnemer, BSc(OT), MSc, PhD
Helene Ross

Annette Majnemer, BSc(OT), MSc, PhD


Dr. Majnemer is Professor, Director and Associate Dean, School of Physical & Occupational Therapy and an Associate Member of the Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology & Neurosurgery at McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada.  Her research interests focus on the developmental, functional and quality of life outcomes of children with disabilities and their determinants. Populations of interest include preterm infants, children with congenital heart defects following open-heart surgery, children with cerebral palsy and developmental delay. She is also examining health service utilization patterns and quality of care in these populations.  (Retrieved on July 1, 20015 from https://www.mcgill.ca/spot/faculty/majnemer)    


Identify three words that others have used to describe you.
Creative; supportive; optimistic.

How do you hope to make a difference in the world through research?
Making a difference in the lives of children with disabilities and their families; by contributing new knowledge that is used to enhance their functioning, participation and well-being. I hope that I also inspire others to pursue academic research careers and be successful in making a difference in their own ways.

What is one piece of advice you have for individuals considering a career in science and research?
Follow your personal passions and interests; your work as an academic should excite you and stimulate you every day. Also, take advantage of the opportunity to work with colleagues within and across disciplines; this will greatly enrich your perspectives and potential for impact.

Beside your own areas of inquiry, what is one research priority that you believe is important for the future of occupational science and occupational therapy?
There are many gaps between our scientific discoveries and the use of this new knowledge by front-line occupational therapists and by consumers and decision-makers within the health care system. Occupational therapy researchers are well positioned to advance the field of knowledge translation and implementation science, so as to ensure that practices and policies are evidence-based and in line with best practices.

Describe the most important role that mentors played in your professional journey.  
Recognizing the importance and value of mentorship at all levels of your career trajectory; seeking out mentors to serve as role models that can guide you, and in turn, mentoring others that can benefit from your experiences and successes.

Identify a favorite occupation that renews you outside of your work.
I am fortunate to travel extensively, both as part of my academic work and also with my husband as part of leisure activities. These opportunities allow me to disconnect from the day to day occupations, enabling me to reflect on work and on life. These varied experiences continue to enrich my views and also energize and inspire me.

What has been the most surprising or rewarding aspects of a career in science and research?
The dedication and successes of my colleagues at the School of Physical & Occupational Therapy at McGill University is truly inspiring. I take tremendous pride in all that we have achieved together as a faculty, and I am honored to be their Director. My personal career achievements have been greatly facilitated by the incredible support of my husband and two daughters.


Cavello, S, Majnemer, A, Duffy, CM & Ehrmann Feldman, D.  (2015). Participation in leisure activities by children and adolescents with juvenile idiopathic arthritis.  Journal of Rheumatology, 2015 Jun 15. pii: jrheum.140844. [Epub ahead of print]

Majnemer, A, Shikako-Thomas, K, Lach, L, Shevell, M, Law, M & Schmitz, N.The QUALAGroup.  (2013). Mastery motivation in adolescents with cerebral palsy. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34, 384-392.

Solaski, M, Majnemer, A & Oskoui, M. (2014).  Contribution of socio-economic status on the prevalence of cerebral palsy: a systematic search and review. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 56, 1043-1051.

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