Meet our Researchers

From time to time, the Foundation catches up with our grant recipients to find out what they are up to and what Foundation funding has helped them accomplish.  Meet a few of our researchers below.

Fabrisia Ambrosio, PT, PhD
University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Ambrosio, 2008 Foundation Research Grant recipient and Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, led two sessions on the topics of regenerative medicine and the importance of lifelong learning as a physical therapist at APTA’s 2013 National Student Conclave.

Jennifer Brach, PT, PhD
University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Brach, Foundation PODS Scholarship and NIFTI recipient and Associate Professor of Physical Therapy and the Clinical Translational Science Institute at the University of Pittsburgh focuses her research on the geriatric population.

Judith Burnfield, PT, PhD
Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital
Dr. Burnfield and her research team are working on an innovative project funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) to develop modified elliptical trainers.

Lawrence Cahalin, PT, PhD, CCS
University of Miami
Dr. Cahalin enjoys collaborating with other healthcare professionals, and he did just that on a recent project regarding referral and participation rates for outpatient cardiac rehabilitation programs funded by the American Heart Association.

Cory Christiansen, PT, PhD
University of Colorado, Denver
Dr. Christiansen, Associate Professor at the University of Colorado, Denver and recipient of a 2011 Pittsburgh-Marquette Challenge Research Grant, focuses his research on the topics of total knee arthroplasty and dysvascular transtibial amputation.

Comprehensive Opportunities in Rehabilitation Research Training (CORRT)
A 5-year, NIH-funded training grant led by Foundation Trustee Michael J. Mueller, PT, PhD, FAPTA, and past funding recipients Anthony Delitto, PT, PhD, FAPTA, and Stuart Binder-MacLeod, PT, PhD, FAPTA.

Irene Davis, PT, PhD, FAPTA, FACSM, FASB
Harvard Medical School, Spaulding National Running Center
Dr. Davis, two time Doctoral Training Research Grant recipient and Director of the Spaulding National Running Center at Harvard Medical School, focuses her research on barefoot and minimal footwear running.

Stephanie Di Stasi, PT, PhD, OCS
The Ohio State University
Dr. Di Stasi, two time PODS recipient, Research Associate and Staff Physical Therapist at the Ohio State University, spends her time studying femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) and ACL injuries while simultaneously working to rehabilitate and prevent injury in her patient population.

Gammon Earhart, PT, PhD
Washington University in St. Louis
Dr. Earhart, associate director of the Movement Science PhD Program and Professor of Physical Therapy, Neurology and Neurobiology at Washington University in St. Louis, discusses her research focusing on Parkinson’s disease and tango dancing.

David G. Embrey, PT, PhD
Multicare Good Samaritan Hospital
Dr. Embrey is a clinician and is currently investigating interventions for children with cerebral palsy, adults with stroke, and lately, treatments for children with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Liberia.

Shawn Farrokhi, PT, DPT, PhD
University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Farrokhi is an assistant professor and is currently investigating interventions for patients with osteoarthritis through the K12 grant, CORRT.

Edelle Field-Fote, PT, PhD
University of Miami
As Director of the Neuromotor Rehabilitation Research Laboratory at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, Dr. Field-Fote studies interventions to help spinal cord injury patients walk and use their arms and hands again.

Linda Fetters, PT, PhD, FAPTA
University of Southern California
Now an endowed chair at the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, Dr. Fetters directs the Developmental Motor Performance Laboratory to investigate physical therapy interventions for babies born with cerebral palsy.

Sheryl Flynn, PT, PhD
University of Florida
Dr. Flynn is the founder and Director of Blue Marble Rehabilitation, Inc., a video game company based in Santa Monica, California, specializing in the development and testing of video games for rehabilitation.

Julie Fritz, PT, PhD, ATC, and Stacy Fritz, PT, PhD
University of Utah / University of South Carolina
Dr. Julie Fritz, Scientific Review Committee member, and Dr. Stacy Fritz, are cousins that share a commitment to evidence-based practice, research, teaching, and mentorship.

Bernadette Gillick, PT, MS
University of Minnesota
Gillick is making her mark in research by pursuing her PhD in Rehabilitation Science and working as a member of the Brain Plasticity Laboratory at the University of Minnesota.

Susan Harris, PT, PhD, FAPTA, FCAHS
University of British Columbia
Dr. Harris is a Foundation alumna who found herself in physical therapy after a breast cancer diagnosis.  Harris realized that there was little to no rehabilitation research related to breast cancer to validate her physical therapist’s instructions.  She decided at that time to shift her research focus and started to investigate physical therapy interventions related to the treatment of breast cancer.

Jill Heathcock, PT, PhD
The Ohio State University
Director of the Infant Lab at OSU, Dr. Heathcock is discovering new interventions to help pre-term infants avoid developmental delays.

Fay Horak, PT, PhD, MS
Oregon Health and Sciences University
Director of the Balance Disorders Lab at OHSU, Dr. Horak develops tools for use in the clinic to measure balance and minimize fall risk for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease or vestibular disorders.

Diane Jette, PT, DSc, FAPTA
University of Vermont
Dr. Jette, Professor and Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Science at UVM, is the recipient of the 2013 APTA Chattanooga Research Award.

Laurie King, PT, PhD
Oregon Health & Science University
Dr. King, Assistant Professor at Oregon Health & Science University, discusses the outcomes of her study funded by a 2011 Clagett Family Research Grant from the Foundation.

Michael Lewek, PT, PhD
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
An adjunct professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, Dr. Lewek also works in the Interdisciplinary Human Movement Science Lab to help post-stroke patients learn to walk.

Virginia Little, PT, MS, NCS
University of Florida
In the Neural Control of Movement Lab, Little studies walking dysfunction in individuals post-stroke.

Ericka Merriwether, PT, DPT
Washington University in St. Louis
As a researcher in the multidisciplinary Applied Kinesiology Laboratory, Merriwether collaborates with her colleagues to investigate interventions for movement impairments in patients with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy.

Michael J. Mueller, PT, PhD, FAPTA
Washington University in St. Louis
Dr. Mueller currently serves on the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, Director of the Applied Biomechanics Laboratory, and is the Principal Investigator of the $4.6 million Comprehensive Opportunities in Rehabilitation Research Training (CORRT) program.

Kiri Ness, PT, PhD
St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital
A faculty research member at St. Jude’s, Dr. Ness studies interventions to help patients who have recovered from childhood cancer.

NeuroRecovery Network
Past funding recipients Andrea Behrman, PT, PhD, FAPTA, and Sue Ann Sisto, PT, MA, PhD, collaborate on an innovative clinical program funded by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Carolynn Patten, PT, PhD
University of Florida
In addition to working as an associate professor at UF, Dr. Patten is also a research scientist in the Brain Rehabilitation Research Center at the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center.

Rehabilitation Research Center Development (RRCD)
This 5-year, K12 career development grant is funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and directed by former chair of the Foundation’s Scientific Review Committee and past funding recipient, Elizabeth Protas, PT, PhD.

Sheila Schindler-Ivens, PT, PhD
Marquette University
Dr. Schindler-Ivens is the faculty co-advisor for Marquette in the annual Marquette Challenge and directs a laboratory using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to help stroke survivors.

Scientific Review Committee (SRC) 2013 Retiring Members
The Foundation recognizes three retiring members of the Scientific Review Committee: Catherine Lang, PT, PhD, Patrick Sparto, PT, PhD, and Courtney Hall, PT, PhD.

Neena Sharma, PT, PhD, CMPT
University of Kansas Medical Center
Dr. Sharma, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at KUMC, recently completed her 2011 Foundation funded study focusing on brain imaging and low back pain.

Barbara K. Smith, PT, MPT, PhD
University of Florida
Dr. Smith is a Research Assistant Professor at UF and studies physical therapy interventions for intensive care unit patients.

Lynn Snyder-Mackler ,PT, ScD, ATC, SCS, FAPTA
University of Delaware
Dr. Snyder-Mackler will receive up to ten years of funding for her research focusing on the development of evidence-based approaches to the rehabilitation of knee injuries.

Scott Stackhouse, PT, PhD
Arcadia University
Dr. Stackhouse is using his Foundation research grant to focus on new strength and locomotor training interventions for adolescents living with cerebral palsy.

Jennifer Stevens-Lapsley, PT, MPT, PhD
University of Colorado Denver
Dr. Stevens-Lapsley is an associate professor at UC Denver, director of the Muscle Performance Laboratory, and has mentored PhD students who recently received Foundation funding.

Eric Vidoni, PT, PhD
University of Kansas Medical Center
Dr. Vidoni, Research Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas and Education and Outreach Director of KUMC’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center, focuses his research on Alzheimer’s disease and physical activity.

Samuel Ward, PT, PhD
University of California, San Diego
Dr. Ward, two time PODS recipient and current Chair of the Foundation’s Scientific Review Committee discusses his current research and how the Foundation plays a role in securing further funding for physical therapist researchers.

Daniel White, PT, ScD, MSc
Boston University
Dr. White, 2011 Geriatric Research Grant recipient and Research Assistant Professor at Boston University, has focused his research on the understanding of causes and best treatments for Osteoarthritis.

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