Ray de Leon, Ph.D.

Outstanding Professor Award, 2018-19
Los Angeles
School of Kinesiology & Nutritional Science

“I love introducing first-generation college students to research. At first, they’re unsure and afraid but then, curiosity kicks in, confidence builds and before you know it, they’re transformed.” 

An expert in exercise therapies for spinal cord injury, Ray de Leon pioneered the use of robotic devices for gait rehabilitation in rodent models. His findings led to the development of new devices used to treat paralysis after spinal cord injury and stroke.

He has secured grants totaling more than $4.2 million, which have supported more than 80 Cal State LA students in research projects, and he has authored over 50 papers that were published in top journals, such as The Journal of Neuroscience and The Journal of Neurotrauma.

He is the founder of the Mobility Center at Cal State LA, which has helped more than 300 people with disabilities receive access to exercise therapy. He is also director of the School of Kinesiology and Nutritional Science.