Emory University | Woodruff Health Sciences Center
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Michael Borich

Assistant Professor
Story Photo

Photography by Bryan Meltz

Michael Borich, DPT, PhD, classifies himself as a rehabilitation neuroscientist. After earning his DPT degree from the University of Minnesota, Borich worked in an acute neurorehabilitation setting at a Level One trauma center in downtown Minneapolis. "I saw some of my patients get better, and some did not, and I didn't know why all my patients didn't improve with therapy," he says. These experiences prompted him to return to the University of Minnesota to pursue his PhD in Rehabilitation Science with a neuroscience emphasis. After graduating, he continued his training in the Brain Behaviour Laboratory at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He joined the Emory DPT program in January as an assistant professor and director of the Neural Plasticity Research Laboratory. "The goal of the lab is to create new knowledge to advance our understanding of the adaptive capacity of the brain and how then to capitalize on that adaptive ability to achieve improved rehabilitation outcomes for our patients," says Borich.

Hometown:

Duluth, Minnesota

Hobbies:

Gathering new experiences. I like to try new things, go to new places and learn new things.

Tell us something that is perhaps surprising about yourself:

I don't own a car. Well, actually that isn't entirely true. Back in high school, my father and I built a 1948 Mercury Coupe, but it stayed behind in Minnesota. Now, I commute everywhere with my bicycle or by public transit. I have been pleasantly surprised by the ease of bicycle commuting in Atlanta. For me, it has been a great way to get to know the city and keep active while doing it.

Who has been most influential in your life?

My father. He has instilled in me the importance of hard work but also in maintaining a balanced life. When I was growing up, he always had a positive outlook on life and continually sought out new experiences – traits I see now in myself.

What drew you to Emory?

During my visit to Emory last year, when I asked what makes Emory special, the consistent reply was; "the people and the opportunities." Since my arrival, I could not agree more. Everyone that I've worked with thus far at Emory has been collegial, highly collaborative and has gone out of their way to make me feel very at home, very quickly. And with Emory's close relationships with Georgia Institute of Technology and Atlanta VA Medical Center, there is no shortage of great opportunities for collaboration.

What advice would you give PT students?

When you are deciding your area of practice, keep an open mind as long as you can, because you'll be surprised at how your interests can change during PT school. Especially here at Emory, you have every opportunity you could want – don't miss out on any of them.

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