Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy-Supported Funding Yields Ongoing Research

The work of the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research would not be possible without the support of our donors, including the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) academies and sections. Generous gifts from the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy (APPT) have allowed the Foundation to fund post-doctoral students and emerging scientists wishing to conduct research consistent with APPT’s Research Agenda.

Every year, donations to the APPT fund support one Pediatric Research Grant and a Promotion of Doctoral Studies (I or II) Scholarship.

In 2013, Associate Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, Stacey Dusing, PT, PhD, was awarded a Pediatric Research Grant that allowed her to complete a pilot study -“Supporting Play, Exploration, & Early Development Intervention (SPEEDI) for Infants Born Preterm: An Initial Efficacy Study.” This grant directly resulted in a 2018 $2.84 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to facilitate a multi-site clinical trial, “Efficacy of Motor and Cognitive Intervention for Infants Born Preterm (SPEEDI2).” More recently, her work with infants resulted in a study published in the Physical Therapy Journal. This study was partly supported by the Foundation’s Pediatric Research Grant, made possible by the APPT.

In 2008, the Foundation also awarded Thubi H.A. Kolobe, PT, PhD, FAPTA, a Pediatric Research Grant to continue her research on early interventions for children with cerebral palsy. With the help of another researcher, she developed a robot to help enable crawling in babies with motor challenges. This Foundation-funded study led to the creation of the Self-Initiated Prone Progressive Crawler (SIPPC). The SIPPC is a motorized skateboard-like robot, equipped with sensors, that responds to a baby’s little kicks and weight shifts by rewarding them with an extra boost. Through her work, Kolobe continued to gain national recognition and financial support through organizations like the NIH and the National Science Foundation. Her research continues to be published in renowned medical journals.

The Foundation has been instrumental in promoting early-career researchers and helping to provide seed money. Its researchers go on to yield exceptional results and recognition, allowing them a level playing field with other medical professionals coveting funding from national organizations. For every $1 awarded, our researchers receive $47 in follow-on funding. Foundation-funded researchers have accumulated over $800 million in follow-on funding.

In 2017, the APPT amended their agreement with the Foundation to expand research funding to support post-doctoral professional doctoral students. The first to receive this scholarship was Julia E. Mazzarella, PT, DPT, from The Ohio State University, in 2019.


Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required




Use this form to sign up for the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research monthly newsletter.