First-Ever Acute Care Research Grant to Support Research On Lung Transplant Patients

Foundation for Physical Therapy Research funding recipient, Michael Tevald, PT, MPT, PhD, is investigating rehabilitation strategies in people undergoing lung transplants.

Michael Tevald, PT, MPT, PhD, has spent most of his research career focusing on skeletal impairments. His clinical experience has been primarily in acute care. This combined background has prepared him to be the first-ever recipient of the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research Acute Care Research Grant.

The $40,000 grant – made possible by the Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy (AACPT) – will fund a project titled “Early Impact of Lung Transplantation on Skeletal Muscle.”

Tevald’s team will look at surgery and hospitalization factors that can contribute to prolonged mobility limitations in the elderly and chronically ill. The research may help providers find targeted interventions and rehabilitation strategies to offset long term issues and effects of surgery, hospitalization, and illness.

“Being the first recipient of this award is a great honor, and I’m excited to take the next step in this line of research,” said Tevald. “The award will allow us to investigate the acute changes in muscle that appear to contribute to long-term issues with physical function in lung transplant recipients.  With this knowledge, we hope to provide acute care physical therapists with the information they need to make better patient care decisions, and ultimately improve physical function in their patients.”

This 2-year longitudinal project is based on an ongoing multisite, federally-funded study of markers of frailty in lung transplant candidates. Tevald is developing the overall design and assessment protocols, training the therapists collecting the data, managing the collaboration, and analyzing the data.  He is collaborating with the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

In 2017, AACPT pledged to fund two grants to support emerging investigators seeking to advance the practice of acute care physical therapy. The second grant will be available in 2020.

“By establishing the Acute Care Research Grant, the Foundation has shown that it recognizes the importance of systematically investigating the issues that acute care physical therapists face,” said Tevald.

Tevald is an Associate Professor at Arcadia University’s College of Health Sciences where he serves as the director of Post-Professional Programs. He is currently the secretary of the Early Career Research Special Interest Group of APTA’s Section on Research. Tevald completed his BA in Biological Sciences and Masters of Physical Therapy at the University of Delaware. He completed his PhD in Physiology at Virginia Commonwealth University and trained in Muscle Physiology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

In 2007, Tevald was awarded a New Investigator Fellowship Training Initiative (NIFTI). Tevald used this funding to look at age-related impairments in the muscle’s capacity to provide energy for physiological processes and physical function.

Select Foundation Grants and Scholarships Awarded