David Brienza PhD



    Associate Dean of Research

    Office Location

    University of Pittsburgh
    Bakery Square, Suite 401
    6425 Penn Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15206

    Office phone

    (412) 624-6383

Biographical Profile

Dr. David Brienza is Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology with additional professorial appointments in the Dept. of Bioengineering and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Brienza currently serves as Director of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Telerehabilitation and the RERC on Spinal Cord Injury. He is the former Director of the RERC on Wheeled Mobility. He has worked in the fields of telerehabilitation, wheelchair R&D, pressure ulcer prevention, and seat cushion and support surface R&D since 1987. Other activities and interests include exercise equipment, intellectual property and personal injury law.
Dr. Brienza serves on the Board of Directors of the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP). Within NPUAP he has chaired the research Committee. He is a former Board member of the Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Association of North America (RESNA). His professional services also include service on several editorial boards for prominent journals, and participation in extramural funding peer review for NIDRR, NIH, PVA, EPVA, NSF, and Department of Commerce. He is appointed as Adjunct Professor at Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, China.

Academic Appointment

  • Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, Department of Bioengineering and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
  • Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives and Planning
  • Interim Director, Prosthetics and Orthotics Program


  • BS, Electrical Engineering, University of Notre Dame, 1986
  • MS, Electrical Engineering, University of Virginia, 1988 
  • PhD, Electrical Engineering, University of Virginia, 1991

Selected Publications 

  • Brienza D , Antokal S, Herbe L, et al. Friction-induced skin injuries - Are they pressure ulcers? An updated NPUAP white paper. Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing. 2014;42(1):62-64.

  • Zaaqoq AM1, Namas R, Almahmoud K, Azhar N, Mi Q, Zamora R, Brienza DM, Billiar TR, Vodovotz Y. (2014) Inducible Protein-10, a Potential Driver of Neurally Controlled Interleukin-10 and Morbidity in Human Blunt Trauma. Crit Care Med. 2014 Feb 26.

  • Huang W, Vodovotz Y, Kusturiss MB, Barclay D, Greenwald K, Boninger ML, Coen PM, Brienza D , Sowa G.  (2013) Identification of Distinct Monocyte Phenotypes and Correlation with Circulating Cytokine Profiles in Acute Response to Spinal Cord Injury: A Pilot Study. PM R. 2013 Oct 17. pii: S1934-1482(13)01138-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2013.10.006.
  • C. Ziraldo, A. Solovyev, A. Allegretti, S. Krishnan, M.K. Henzel, G.A. Sowa, D. Brienza, G. An, Q. Mi, Y. Vodovotz (2013) A computational, tissue-realistic model of pressure ulcer formation in individuals with spinal cord injury. Journal of Critical Care. 02/2013; 28(1):e23.

  • Turkovich, M ., Hu, J., Van Roosmalen, L., & Brienza, D. (2013). Computer simulations of obesity effects on occupant injury in frontal impacts. International Journal of Crashworthiness, 18(5), 502-515.

  • Yi-Ting Tzen;   David M. Brienza ; Patricia E. Karg; Patrick J. Loughlin. (2013) Effectiveness of local cooling for enhancing tissue ischemia tolerance in people with spinal cord injury. Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, 36(4) pp. 357-364. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/2045772312Y.0000000085

  • Solovyev A, Mi Q, Tzen Y-T, Brienza D, Vodovotz Y (2013) Hybrid Equation/Agent-Based Model of Ischemia-Induced Hyperemia and Pressure Ulcer Formation Predicts Greater Propensity to Ulcerate in Subjects with Spinal Cord Injury. PLoS Comput Biol 9(5): e1003070. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003070
  • Charlie Lachenbruch, PhD; Yi-Ting Tzen, PhD; Dave M. Brienza, PhD ; Patricia E. Karg, MS; and Peter Anthony Lachenbruch, PhD. (2013) The Relative Effects of Interface Pressure, Shear Stress, and Temperature of Tissue Ischemia: a Cross-sectional Pilot Study. Ostomy Wound Manage. 2013;59(3):25-34.

  • Becky L. Faett, Mary Jo Geyer, Leslie A. Hoffman, and David M. Brienza , "Design and Development of a Telerehabilitation Self-Management Program for Persons with Chronic Lower Limb Swelling and Mobility Limitations: Preliminary Evidence," Nursing Research and Practice, vol. 2012, Article ID 608059, 10 pages, 2012. doi:10.1155/2012/608059

  • Boninger, ML, D Brienza, S Charlifue, Y-Y Chen, K C Curley, D E Graves, S Groah, A W Heinemann, L M Hudson, A B Jackson, K L Johnson, C Z Kalpakjian, A Kusiak, K E Larson, T S Agustin, A M Sherwood, N Shinowara, T Stripling and D Tate. State of the Science Conference in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation 2011: introduction. Spinal Cord advance online publication, March 27, 2012; doi:10.1038/sc.2012.13

  • Brienza D , Kelsey S, Karg P, Allegretti A, Olson M, Schmeler M, Zanca J, Geyer MJ, Kusturiss M, Holm M. A randomized clinical trial on preventing pressure ulcers with wheelchair seat cushions. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2010 Dec;58(12):2308-14. Epub 2010 Nov 10.

Courses Taught

  • HRS 2702 Instrumentation and Computer interfacing
  • HRS 2703 Rehabilitation Engineering Design
  • HRS 2706 Rehabilitation Biomechanics
  • HRS 2706 Introduction to Rehabilitation Engineering Design
  • HRS 3702 Soft Tissue Biomechanics
  • BIOE 1010 Bioinstrumentation
  • EE 2646 Linear Control Systems

 Research Interests

  • Tissue Integrity Management
  • Seating and Mobility Technology
University of Pittsburgh, School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences all rights reserved. www.shrs.pitt.edu