School of Medicine

Lisa Tabor Connor to be next executive director of the Program in Occupational Therapy

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:

I am pleased to announce that Lisa Tabor Connor, PhD, has accepted our offer to become the next executive director of the Program in Occupational Therapy, beginning July 1, 2019. Dr. Connor is currently professor and chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy and associate director of research programs at Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions.

She is no stranger to Washington University, having served on the faculty from 2001-2014. In addition, she received a doctorate in experimental psychology and master’s degree in occupational therapy from the university. She completed National Institutes of Health post-doctoral fellowships at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Boston University.

With more than 25 years of experience as an educator and academic researcher, Dr. Connor is well recognized for her research on understanding the neural, behavioral, and social determinants of recovery and participation in people with stroke, particularly for those with aphasia. Her early work focused on memory retrieval mechanisms and modifiers in healthy aging as well as understanding mechanisms of lexical retrieval decline in older adults.

As a faculty member at Washington University School of Medicine she worked with Maurizio Corbetta’s group using functional neuroimaging to study mechanisms of language recovery in people with stroke and aphasia. Her research has led to new tools for assessing neurorehabilitation and for administering tests to people with aphasia, to provide quantitative data for modeling recovery and community participation in stroke survivors and to optimize the delivery of rehabilitation interventions. The goal of her work is to create evidence-based, targeted interventions to enable people post-stroke to participate more fully in community life. Throughout her research career, she has worked with large interdisciplinary teams of investigators to advance mutual lines of inquiry.

Dr. Connor is an internationally recognized speaker, has published extensively in peer-reviewed texts, articles and book chapters. She served as consultant and reviewer of several major national programs and journals in the areas of neurorehabilitation and speech-language pathology. Currently she serves on the executive committee of an NIH-funded interdisciplinary faculty training grant in neurorehabilitation.

In her leadership role she has built a new department and entry-level OT doctoral program. Her extensive experience in research administration, interdisciplinary team development, research and clinical networking, and mentorship of student and junior faculty make her a wonderful match for leadership of our program.

I also want to take the opportunity to thank Dr. Carolyn Baum who has led our program in Occupational Therapy since 1988. Over that time, Dr. Baum has nurtured the educational, clinical and research programs with the highest possible standards of excellence and with indelible impact as exemplified by its #1 ranking by US News and World Report.
Please join me in welcoming Lisa as she transitions into the role on July 1.


David H. Perlmutter MD
Executive Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs
Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Distinguished Professor
George and Carol Bauer Dean, School of Medicine