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Outstanding Faculty Awards

David Cifu

Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Virginia Commonwealth University

David Cifu, M.D. is Chairman and Herman J. Flax, MD Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Medicine where he joined faculty in August 1991. Dr. Cifu is also the Chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Services of the VCU Health System, the Founding Director of the VCU-Center for Rehabilitation Sciences and Engineering, National Director of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Program Office, and a member of the Senior Executive Staff for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  Dr. Cifu has been active in the professional organizations for rehabilitation medicine since 1987, including serving as President of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

A busy clinician throughout his career, he has provided compassionate clinical care to thousands of individuals with acute and chronic disabling conditions over the last thirty years. He has also been active in national advocacy and directing health care policy to support the quality and quantity of life for individuals with disability.

An internationally renowned researcher in the area of neurologic rehabilitation, with specific focus on traumatic brain injury, he has been funded on 33 federal research grants for more than $110 million since 1992. He was recently awarded a $62.2 million national consortium project from the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to study the chronic effects of combat-related concussions on service members and veterans. As an academic physiatrist, he has delivered more than 500 regional, national and international lectures, published more than 200 articles and 65 abstracts, and co-authored 27 books and book chapters. He has been involved with the training of more than 120 PM&R residents, 100 specialty post-doctoral fellows and hundreds of students during his career.

Dr. Cifu completed undergraduate and medical school at Boston University and his post-graduate residency training at Baylor College of Medicine.

View Nomination Packet

David Cifu


"I am continuing to work to provide cutting-edge, evidence-based, and compassionate care…to excite and educate the next generation of healers and researchers…and to provide inspired and meaningful leadership for the nation and the world so that we have a society that can be judged as having cared for and done the right thing for its most important members, those who remind us what it means to love your fellow man."