Dr. Roseann Schaaf is professor and chair in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson College of Health Professions and Faculty at the Farber Institute for Neuroscience at Jefferson. Dr. Schaaf is a translational scientist who has devoted her career to the study of children with autism and other developmental disorders, in particular how processing and integrating sensory information impacts participation in daily occupations. Building on her training as a behavioral neuroscientist, Dr. Schaaf’s psychophysiological laboratory was funded by NIH and provided insight into the neurological mechanisms of sensory difficulties in children with autism.
She has received over 35 funded grants totaling $8 million dollars including a recent $4.1 million dollar grant from the NIH to conduct a comparative effectiveness study of occupational therapy using sensory integration. This grant is in collaboration with her colleagues at Einstein Medical College and Queens University and includes a multisensory integration biomarker as an objective outcome measure of neuroplasticity. Roseann has over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles and abstracts, is the author of five books and 13 book chapters and has presented over 150 papers and presentations spanning national and international venues. She is a 2008 recipient of the A. Jean Ayres Research Award and a 1996 recipient of the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. Dr. Schaaf became an associate editor of OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health in 2017.