Our Role & Cause

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Message from Our Director

Rajiv R. Ratan, M.D., Ph.D.

Rajiv R. Ratan, M.D., Ph.D.

Burke Rehabilitation Hospital is a recognized leader in delivering state-of-the-art care for the disabled. An important engine for Burke’s quest to deliver the best rehabilitation strategies not only for today but also for tomorrow is the Burke Neurological Institute. The Institute was created in 1978 to foster the development of new approaches to cognitive and motor rehabilitation, and has enjoyed a long-standing synergy with Burke Rehabilitation Hospital and the Weill Cornell Medicine of Cornell University.

Since its inception, the breadth and depth of research going on at Burke has dramatically expanded. Indeed, fundamental research on molecules critical for brain repair and plasticity are coupled with drug discovery, novel cell transplantation approaches, human biomarker studies, non-invasive brain stimulation trials in humans, and robotics. These studies are providing an exciting new base of knowledge on which the rehabilitation therapies of tomorrow for stroke, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury will be built. New programs in vision restoration, pain, and motor recovery have recently been developed headed by a world-class care of scientists and clinician-scientists.

To provide the massive assault necessary to solve problems of neurological disability (#1 cause of disability in the United States), Burke currently has more than 20 Cornell faculty members working synergistically and collaboratively amongst themselves and with clinicians and scientists around the globe. The scientific efforts at Burke are complemented by remarkable infrastructures that exist in Ithaca at the Cornell University undergraduate campus and downtown in Manhattan at Cornell Medical School. Each of our faculty members is sanctioned by appointment committees at our Ivy League affiliate.

Burke Rehabilitation Center is one of the only freestanding rehabilitation facilities with dedicated programs in basic research (understanding how the normal brain functions and how it goes awry in disease), translational research (understanding how to move basic research to the human bedside), and clinical research (testing of new therapies in humans). These programs all enjoy the sanction that comes from intense competition for external support from the National Institutes of Health and from private and public foundations.

We welcome you to the Burke website and hope that when you are on the Burke campus you will accept our invitation to find out more about the cutting-edge research at our fine institution.


Rajiv R. Ratan M.D., Ph.D.,
Burke Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience
Associate Dean, Weill Medical College

Executive Director, Burke Neurological Institute