Learning never ends at TWU. Our research serves a valuable purpose in providing data on best practices for physical therapists around the world.
With the goal of improving patient outcomes for those seeking treatment for musculoskeletal disorders and injury, our researchers include faculty members and PhD candidates. As part of their curriculum, our DPT students also participate in less intensive research projects in order to prepare them for the possibility of developing research-minded clinicians.
The Office of Research & Sponsored Programs helps faculty identify funding sources (both internal and external), submit proposals, manage grant finances and comply with grant requirements.
ACT, 7th Floor
304 Administration Drive
Denton, TX 76201
PO Box 425619
Denton, TX 76204-5619
(940) 898-4416 fax
Student Research Opportunities
Each year, both the Dallas and Houston campuses hold a PT Research Conference that allows third-year physical therapy students an opportunity to present their research to practicing clinicians from the surrounding community. In turn, clinicians attend for free and receive Continuing Competency Units (CCUs), dinner and free parking. Faculty and Ph.D. students also present their research.
The Research Conference is open to all TWU students, alums and the PT community at large and are typically held in November.
Guest speakers are nationally and world renowned physical therapists and other health professionals that support the physical therapy profession. Among past speakers are such names as Shirley Sahrmann, PT, PhD, FAPTA, Ramon Diaz-Arrastia, MD, James Elliott, PT, PhD, George Hornby, PT, PhD, Stacy Fritz, PT, PhD, John Patlan, MD, and Robert Wainner, PT, PhD, OCS, ECS.
Areas of Research
Workout on Wheels - Internet Intervention
Faculty member Suh-Jen Lin, PT, Ph.D., Associate Professor for the School of Physical Therapy is the primary investigator for the Workout on Wheels - Internet Intervention (WOWii) study. Individuals with spinal cord injury are prone to develop several health issues, such as pressure sore, pneumonia, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases due to physical impairments and a sedentary lifestyle. This study examines the feasibility and effectiveness of a 16-week internet-based intervention in improving exercise and fitness in people with spinal cord injury. It is a collaboration between TWU and Baylor Research Institute, and funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR).
For additional information on this study, please email Dr. Lin.
Whole Body Vibration for People with PPS
Carolyn Da Silva, PT, DSc, School of Physical Therapy professor in Houston, has completed an exploratory feasibility study of the use of whole body vibration with people with post-polio syndrome (PPS). Pain severity reduction, increased walking speed, and no adverse events or reports of increased PPS symptoms occurred. Dr. Da Silva, Alexis Ortiz, PT, PhD, SCS, CSCS, FACSM, and two physicians from Baylor College of Medine, Lisa Wenzel, MD, and Craig DiTommaso, MD, are currently applying for a grant to study home-based whole body vibration for survivors of polio and its effects on bone mineral density, lean muscle mass, and other impairment and activity measures.
For additional information regarding this study, email Dr. Da Silva.
Jennifer Ellison, PT, Ph.D., associate professor for the School of Physical Therapy, Houston, has a passion for teaching and studying walking patterns in patients with musculoskeletal and neuromuscular dysfunction. She currently leads a student research group that investigates walking patterns of patients with knee and hip arthritis. They use the Zeno Walkway by ProtoKinetics to measure walking speed, center of pressure trajectories and step and stride characteristics in order to categorize gait stability.
For additional information on this research, please email Dr. Ellison.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Hui-Ting Goh, PT, Ph.D., is the principal investigator on the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation study. Ability to perform two tasks simultaneously, for example walking and talking, is often compromised after brain injury. Learning neural mechanism underlying dual-task gait performance is therefore important for the development of targeted interventions. In our research, we use Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) technique to probe the neural substrates modulating dual-task gait performance in individuals with stroke.
For additional information, please email Dr. Goh.