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Jeff Radel, Ph.D.

Jeffrey Radel portrait
Associate Dean, Academic and Student Affairs, School of Health Professions

Associate Professor, Occupational Therapy Education

Professional Background

Jeff Radel, Ph.D., teaches in KU's occupational therapy degree programs as a tenured associate professor. He holds the position of graduate director of the department and serves as a dissertation advisor in the doctoral program in therapeutic science. In February 2016, Radel assumed the role of associate dean for academic and student affairs for the School of Health Professions, where he guides development of programs, faculty and students.

Radel earned a bachelor's degree in psychobiology from Oberlin College in 1979, and both Master's (1982) and doctorate (1987) degrees in experimental psychology with an emphasis in neuroscience from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. After six highly productive years of postdoctoral training at the University of Pittsburgh, Radel joined the faculty at KU Medical Center in 1993.

Radel teaches a foundational course, OTDE 740 in Neuroscience Assessment of Occupational Performance, for the entry-level doctorate in occupational therapy curriculum and coordinates the research practicum and professional writing courses in the master's degree curriculum. A core focus of both courses is to encourage students as they learn about complex neurologic concepts and pursue research projects related to the theory and practice of occupational therapy and how these principles directly relate to human function and quality of life.

Trained in developmental neuroscience, Radel has interests in visual neuroscience and neurorehabilitation. His background includes neuroanatomy, histology, electrophysiology, and behavioral testing in animals, and he possesses a broad range of experience in assessing visual function in humans. He regularly serves as a reviewer for funding agencies and journals.

Radel's expertise in guiding students through the formulation, assembly, and delivery of effective scientific presentations is recognized internationally, and he often provides workshops on this topic for academic programs.

Education and Training
  • BA, Psychobiology, Dept. of Psychology, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio
  • MA, Experimental Psychology/Neuroscience, Dept. of Psychology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • PhD, Experimental Psychology/Neuroscience, Dept. of Psychology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Post Doctoral Fellowship, Visual system repair, University of Pittsburgh, Dept. Anatomy & Cell Biology, Pittsburgh, PA



Radel is not accepting new doctoral students at this time.

A major focus of Radel's research has been directed toward animal models of brain development and retinal function through a long series of investigations exploring experimental perturbations in the developing brain. His work also has explored dietary fatty acids in relation to brain and retina development, and vascular pathology of the retina after perinatal oxygen exposure (a model of retinopathy of maturity in humans).

Driven both by a personal and growing community interest in neurorehabilitation after brain injury, Radel also studies biophysical and social risk factors for concussions and other causes of traumatic brain injury. Of particular interest are the subset of patients who are slow to recover full function after brain injury and who continue to experience persistent post-concussion symptoms that often limit return to normal activities. An evaluation of factors that may influence the trajectory of recovery and to explore social factors that influence participation by parents, students, teachers and school administrators in such studies.