Mary Jane (MJ) Mulcahey, PhD, OTR/L

Contact Dr. Mulcahey

130 S. 9th Street
Suite 810
Philadelphia, PA 19107

(215) 503-2888


BS in Special and Elementary Education, Gwynedd-Mercy College, Gwynedd Valley, PA
MS in Occupational Therapy, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
PhD in Adult Education, Capella University, Minneapolis, MN


Occupational Therapy
Life Care Planning

University Appointment

Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Health Professions

Research and Clinical Interests

My professional mission is to promote the desires and aspirations of young people with physical impairments, mental health challenges and social disadvantages so that they develop healthy and meaningful relationships with others and become self-directed and meaningfully engaged in their chosen pursuits. In support of this mission, my clinical passion involves working with children with spinal cord injuries and their families. Through research funding, I am studying the long-term outcomes of children with spinal injuries; developing computer adaptive testing platforms of activity performance and participation and; developing trajectories of typical participation patterns of children and adolescence living in the United States as way to better understand the similarities and disparities of participation in children with health conditions compared to peers without health conditions. Having knowledge on similarities and disparities will catalyze work involving the development of occupationally based methods to enhance participation.

Professional Memberships

American Occupational Therapy Association
American Spinal Injury Association
Association of SCI Professions
American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine
American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine
International Spinal Cord Society
Association of Children Prosthetics and Orthotics

Current Funded Research

Responsiveness of Computer Adaptive Tests of Physical Function to Orthopedic Surgery in Children with Cerebral Palsy. Shriners Hospitals for Children Research Grant, 2009-2014, Principal Investigator, $1,101,000.

Development and Validation of Diffusion Tensor Imaging for Pediatric Spinal Cord Injury, 1 R01 NS079635-01A1, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Acute Neural Injury and Epilepsy Study Section (ANIE) (2013-2018), Principle Investigator, $1,929,382.

Neuromuscular recovery scale for pediatric spinal cord injury. Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, 2013-2014, Sub-investigator, $150,000.

Professional Service

President-Elect of the American Spinal Injury Association
Reviewer for NIDRR Systematic Review on Transition of Young Persons with Spinal Cord Dysfunction
Member, NINDS Spinal Cord Common Data Element Working Group
Associate Editor: American J Occupational Therapy, Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation
Chair, Nominating Committee for AJOT Cordelia Myers Best Research Paper Award
Member, International Working Group for Development of Core and Research Data Elements for Upper Extremity in Spinal Cord Injury

Courses Taught

Research Methods
Neuroanatomy and Physiology
Advanced Evidence Based Practice
Leading Edge Occupational Therapy
Disability Studies