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Kinesiology Department

Sook-Lei Liew, Ph.D., OTR/L, Alumna-Sports Medicine Program ‘06

Sook-Lei Liew

Sook-Lei  “Lei” Liew, a 2006 Sports Medicine graduate, recently accepted an Assistant Professor position in the Keck School of Medicine’s Department of Neurology at the University of Southern California, starting in January 2015. She received a K12 training grant funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with the Rehabilitation Research Career Development Program to start her career with.  Lei will be doing research using neuroimaging and noninvasive brain stimulation to enhance neural plasticity in healthy individuals and individuals after stroke.  She also functions as the Director of the Neural Plasticity and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory at USC.

Lei received her Ph.D. in August 2012 from University of Southern California, in the Brain and Creativity Institute and the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry.  She was awarded a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship at the NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and she worked as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Leonardo Cohen at the NINDS. She is also a registered and licensed Occupational Therapist.

Lei’s research interests included neurorehabilitation, social cognition, and basic sensorimotor processing, and she uses neuroimaging tools such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), as well as behavioral measures, to better understand how we make sense of one another and the environment around us. She’s particularly interested in exploring how the brain supports our ability to understand other's actions and intentions, and how experience and disease may modulate activity in these networks. More specifically, Lei focused her interests in how these regions are affected after neurological injury, such as stroke, and how they may be engaged during neurorehabilitative training to enhance social and/or motor functioning for affected individuals.

We are so proud of all of Lei’s accomplishments!