Allison Kessler, MD, MSc, is the Section Chief of Renée Crown Center for Spinal Cord Innovation. She is board-certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) and Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Medicine. Dr. Kessler is the Associate Director of Shirley Ryan AbilityLab's SCI Medicine Fellowship. She holds appointments at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine as Assistant Professor in the Department of PM&R and Teamwork and Leadership Curricular Thread Leader.
In her role leading the Renée Crown Center for Spinal Cord Innovation, Dr. Kessler directs attending physicians and ensures high-quality, interdisciplinary care, and oversees the adoption of evidence-based practices and clinically relevant innovations. In partnership with Clinical and Scientific Chairs, she helps translate scientific discovery into clinical practice, advancing our Vision.
Since joining Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in 2017, Dr. Kessler has managed a full-time inpatient service on the Renée Crown Center for Spinal Cord Innovation while also seeing patients in the outpatient setting. In addition to treating patients with SCI, she supports those with related neurological disorders, including Guillain-Barre syndrome, spina bifida and cerebral palsy. In the outpatient clinic, Dr. Kessler oversees spasticity management in patients, including management of intrathecal baclofen pumps and botulinum toxin injections.
Dr. Kessler has earned infrastructure grants at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab to develop an education curriculum for inpatients with acute SCI, and to study the cardiovascular benefits of swimming for people with SCI. She is especially interested in treatment of young adults and teenagers, and in the topics of sexuality, pregnancy and parenting as they relate to those with SCI and other physical impairments.
Dr. Kessler earned her Doctor of Medicine from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and her Master of Science in Biomedicine, Bioscience and Society from the London School of Economics. She completed her residency in PM&R through the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University/Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (now Shirley Ryan AbilityLab), and her fellowship in SCI Medicine at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.
Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
355 East Erie
Chicago, IL 60611