ALEXANDRIA, VA, December 11, 2018 – The Foundation for Physical Therapy Board of Trustees awarded $610,000 in Research Grants and Florence P. Kendall Doctoral Scholarships to 12 promising researchers in conclusion of the 2018 funding cycle. The funding, made possible through the support of generous donors, is an investment in the physical therapy profession and will help to address ongoing and emerging issues in the field.

“The Foundation is pleased to support promising, productive physical therapist researchers as they develop innovative and cutting-edge treatments in physical therapy,” said Foundation Board of Trustees President Edelle Field-Fote, PT, PhD, FAPTA. “Each recipient has the potential to contribute to our understanding of movement-related health conditions, interventions, and approaches to health service delivery to improve the lives of our patients and clients.”

Eric Anson, PT, MPT, PhDan Assistant Professor at the University of Rochester’s Department of Otolaryngology, is the recipient of the $40,000 Pittsburgh-Marquette Challenge Research Grant named in honor of the Marquette Challenge, a student led-fundraising initiative. His project titled “Investigating Fear and Perception at Virtual Heights in Individuals with Fall Risk” will harness virtual reality to improve self-motion perception and fear of falling in older adults and identify mechanisms contributing to those changes. This project is supported in part by APTA’s Supporting the Profession Fund.

Annalisa Na, PT, PhD, a Postdoctoral Fellow and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch Division of Rehabilitation Sciences, was awarded the $40,000 Geriatric Research Grant. The goal for her project titled “Functional Recovery in Patients with Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus following a Primary Total Knee Arthroplasty” is to improve TKA outcomes for patients with type-2 diabetes by establishing effective guidelines. This grant is funded by the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy Fund.

Beth McManus, PT, ScD, MPH, an Associate Professor in the Colorado School of Public Health’s Department of Health Systems, Management, & Policy, is the recipient of the $50,000 Health Services Research Pipeline Grant. Her project titled, “High Value Early Intervention (EI): Understanding the Role of Regional Variability in State and Local EI Policy on EI Resource Use and Outcomes” seeks to address critical knowledge gaps to high-value early intervention and inform children’s health policy and future interventions to improve service delivery for children with functional limitations. This grant is made possible by a generous donation from the American Physical Therapy Association.

Michael Tevald, PT, MPT, PhD, an Associate Professor at Arcadia University’s College of Health Sciences is the recipient of the $40,000 Acute Care Research Grant. His project titled “Early Impact of Lung Transplantation on Skeletal Muscle” will enable the development of evidence-based rehabilitation strategies allowing acute care physical therapists to effectively address effects of surgery, hospitalization, and illness of physical function. This grant is supported by a donation from the Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy.

Bahar Shahidi, PT, DPT, PhD, an Assistant Professor at the University of California at San Diego’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, was awarded the $100,000 Magistro Family Foundation Research Grant. Her project titled, “Functional Outcomes and Cost Effectiveness of High Intensity Resistance Exercise in Individuals with Low Back Pain,” will evaluate the benefits of more intensive exercise-based program for patients with LBP and provide a platform for future clinical trials. This project is funded by the Foundation’s Magistro Family Endowment Fund and Legacy Fund.

Marcie Harris-Hayes, PT, DPT, a Professor at Washington University in St. Louis’ Program in Physical Therapy was awarded the $240,000 Paris Patla Musculoskeletal Grant. Her project titled, “Comparison of Movement Pattern Training and Manual Therapy for Pre-arthritic Hip Disorders (PAHD)” will develop effective treatment strategies for people with PAHD and improve function, decrease pain and prevent/delay the onset of osteoarthritis. This grant was made possible by the Stanley Paris and Catherine Patla Fund.

Barbara Sargent, PT, PhD, MS, Assistant Professor of Clinical Physical Therapy at the University of Southern California, was awarded the $40,000 Pediatric Research Grant. Her project titled, “Quantifying Selective Motor Control in Infants at High Risk for Cerebral Palsy,” aims to identify cerebral palsy (CP) in early infancy and develop effective interventions to improve walking outcomes of people with CP. This grant is supported by the Pediatric Physical Therapy Fund.

Jason Beneciuk, PT, DPT, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor at the University of Florida College of Public Health & Health Professionals, was awarded the $40,000 Orthopaedic Research Grant. His project titled, “Discriminant and Predictive Validity Assessment of the Keele STartT MSK Tool for Patients with Musculoskeletal Pain in Outpatient Physical Therapy Settings,” aims to develop effective and efficient healthcare management for people with musculoskeletal pain and implement precision medicine through risk profiling to guide individualized treatment approaches. This grant is supported by the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Fund.

Four additional Florence P. Kendall Doctoral Scholarships of $5,000 each were awarded to:

  • Allison Miller, PT, DPT, University of Delaware
  • Jonathan Tsay, PT, DPT, University of California at Berkeley
  • Julia Mazarella, PT, DPT, The Ohio State University; and
  • Julie Stutzbach, PT, DPT, University of Colorado-Anschutz Medical Campus

This scholarship is presented to outstanding physical therapists as they begin their first year of graduate studies toward a postprofessional doctoral degree. These scholarships are funded by the Kendall Fund and the Rhomberger Fund.

About the Foundation for Physical Therapy

The Foundation for Physical Therapy was established in 1979 as a national, independent nonprofit organization to fund physical therapy research to optimize health and movement. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $17 million in research grants, fellowships and scholarships. Many of today’s leading physical therapy researchers, clinicians, and academicians began their careers with this support. Foundation-funded researchers have gone on to secure more than $800 million in follow-on funding.

To donate or learn more, visit or call 800/875-1378.




Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Use this form to sign up for the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research monthly newsletter and periodic funding deadline alerts.