Kenneth Weber II, D.C., Ph.D. (Florida, ’09) was recently awarded the George B. McClelland Researcher of the Year award from the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), an award that recognizes an individual for developing, refining and/or expanding the body of knowledge in chiropractic. Dr. Weber’s research focuses on using advanced musculoskeletal, spinal cord, and brain MRI techniques to extract measures related to pain and sensorimotor function.
“Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides excellent visualization of spinal anatomy and pathology. MRI can provide a lot more information, including measures of tissue properties and even physiological processes. The hope is that these techniques can provide better diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive information that will ultimately improve the management of the spine,” said Dr. Weber.
Chiropractic has always been a part of Dr. Weber’s life. His parents regularly took the family to see a chiropractor and he recalls noticing the impact his chiropractor had on the community and how much she seemed to enjoy helping her patients. That passion was contagious, as both Dr. Weber and his sister were inspired to attend Palmer. While Dr. Weber’s sister chose the Palmer’s main campus, he was attracted to Palmer Florida.
His studies didn’t stop with Palmer Florida. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in neuroscience from Northwestern University and is now in a post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University in Clinical Pain Research.
He encourages current students to get started in research early if it’s an area of interest and often speaks to students and chiropractors about how to get started in research.
“Start getting research experience and build that part of your resume. Case studies and review articles are a great way to get your feet wet and start defining yourself as a clinician-scientist. Your passion for research and discovery will keep you going if research is meant for you. Next, reach out to chiropractic researchers and ask for advice. Send them an email and start the conversation. I speak with students and chiropractors on a weekly basis, and I am here to offer advice. Please reach out to me.”
Much like Dr. Weber’s advice and guidance to students today, he had many mentors along the way in his career.
“I would not be where I am today without my past mentors, and this award is really a tribute to them, more than me. I am thankful for their willingness to provide me with training and advice throughout my research career. I feel blessed to have had their support.”
He continues, “Do your best, keep your options open, and take full advantage of your current opportunity to train and get experience. You do not know how your interests and plans may change over the course of your chiropractic training, post-chiropractic career, and life in general. If you do choose a research career, you will need to be a competitive applicant for Ph.D. programs or research fellowships, and you will be competing at an international level for these positions. Be the best you can be.”
Palmer College of Chiropractic is the first and largest chiropractic college. More chiropractors have graduated from Palmer than any other chiropractic institution. Interested in learning more about attending Palmer College? Visit palmer.edu.