History of Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
William M. Fowler, Jr., M.D., professor emeritus, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, UC Davis School of Medicine, is a leader in the area of rehabilitation exercise research.
Dr. Fowler founded the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UC Davis in 1968 and served as chair for fifteen years. In 1983 he established the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center in Neuromuscular Diseases and served as director until 1995. He continues to serve as a science and policy advisor to the current RRTC/NMD director, Craig McDonald, M.D.
His understanding of disability issues and his effectiveness in leading a multidisciplinary research program is illustrated by the productivity of the research teams he led and the awards he garnered. During his tenure as RRTC/NMD director, his research staff published over 120 major research papers and 199 scientific abstracts. During his career he has received numerous awards for his state and national leadership in the specialty of physical medicine and the rehabilitation of neuromuscular diseases. In 1995 he received the Physician of the Year Award from the California Governor’s Committee for Employment of Disabled Persons and Commendation from the National Association of Research and Training Centers in recognition of significant and sustained contributions to the disability field.
Dr. Fowler was the recipient of the 1999 UC Davis Deanne Falge Award and the UC Davis Ninth Annual Affirmative Action and Diversity Award for distinguished leadership and achievement in research and program initiatives that promote rehabilitation Research and Training Center in Neuromuscular Diseases equal opportunity, inclusiveness and equity for persons living with disability.