Gwendolyn Sowa Internal Advisor


Dr. Gwendolyn Sowa, MD, PhD is the Endowed Professor and Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh/UPMC. Dr. Sowa also serves as Co-Director of the Ferguson Laboratory for Orthopaedic and Spine Research, and Medical Director of UPMC Total Care- Musculoskeletal Health. She holds joint appointments in the Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Bioengineering.

Dr. Sowa completed her PhD in Biochemistry and Medical Degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her PM&R residency at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Northwestern University.  She has served as a clinician scientist in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for over ten years, where she also functioned as Vice Chair for Clinical Outcomes and Quality Care.  She has been active in developing new models of care, assessment of patient reported outcomes, and inter-disciplinary work groups to improve the quality of care that we provide.  In particular, she has fostered collaboration between various disciplines to improve care of patients with low back pain.

As Co-Director of the Ferguson Laboratory, which has a rich history in musculoskeletal research, she leads a diverse group of scientists including engineers, physiatrists, molecular biologists, orthopaedic surgeons, and neurosurgeons working together to develop innovative treatments for spine conditions and low back pain. The ultimate goal of her research program, which has garnered national and international recognition, is to apply this knowledge to the development of individualized treatment programs for low back pain. Dr. Sowa has also established herself as a committed teacher and mentor, and is active in multiple professional societies with diverse membership, underscoring her collaborative approach.