Dr. Friel received her B.A. in Biology at Rice University, an M.S. in Neuroscience at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston, and a Ph.D. in Neurophysiology from the University of Kansas Medical Center. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University Medical Center. She also received a M.S. in Biostatistics from Columbia University, with a focus on patient-oriented research. Her research focuses on the importance of motor activity in neurorehabilitation.