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Hippotherapy, shoulder dysfunction, optimized rehab in skilled nursing facilities, and neural mechanism associated with sensorimotor learning are among the targets of new research efforts being funded by the Foundation of Physical Therapy Research by way of fellowships and scholarships supported in part by APTA and several of its academies.

The foundation recently announced its awards of fellowship and scholarship funding to 21 promising physical therapy researchers. The $232,500 in award money will help launch the careers of new investigators as they complete doctoral studies.

This year, the foundation made a deeper investment in emerging researchers by establishing an award that combines funds from its Promotion of Doctoral Studies award and New Investigator Fellowship Training Initiative. The new PODS II/NIFTI award of up to $115,000 creates a funding pathway from doctoral studies through post-candidacy.

Julia Mazzarella, PT, DPT, from Ohio State University, is the first-ever recipient of the PODS II/NIFTI award. The funding will be used to support her work around hippotherapy for children with cerebral palsy.

Recipients of PODS I and II scholarships also were announced. PODS I awards up to $7,500 to PTs or PTAs who have completed at least two full semesters or three full quarters of coursework; PODS II funding targets PTs or PTAs who have been formally admitted to postprofessional doctoral candidacy, with up to $15,000 awarded to each recipient.

Winners of foundation funding must participate in a rigorous application process modeled after the National Institutes of Health. Since 1979, the foundation has awarded more than $20 million to promising researchers and research projects.

This Year's Recipients

PODS I

Renata Braudy, PT, MS, MA, Board-Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist, University of Minnesota
Funded through the APTA PODS Fund 
Project title: Shoulder Dysfunction and Quality of Life After Breast Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction: Implications FOR Rehabilitation and Survivorship

Morgan Busboom, PT, DPT, Boys Town National Research Hospital
Recipient of the Mildred Wood Award funded through the Mildred Wood Fund
Project title: Robotic Exoskeleton Gait Training in Adolescents with Cerebral Palsy

Lauren Hinrichs, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist, University of Colorado
Funded through the APTA PODS Fund
Project title: Optimizing Rehabilitation in Skilled Nursing Facilities

Adam Janowski, PT, DPT, University of Iowa
Recipient of the Florence Kendall Award funded through the Florence Kendall Doctoral Scholarship Fund Project title: The Validation of Metabolic Biomarkers, Malate and Fumarate, Using Animal and Human Research Designs in Chronic Pain

Patrick Knox, PT, DPT, MS, University of Delaware
Recipient of the Florence Kendall Award funded through the Florence Kendall Doctoral Scholarship Fund Project title Neurovascular Coupling Responses to Pain Processing in Geriatric Chronic Low Back Pain

Jeffrey Konrad, PT, DPT, Washington University in St. Louis
Recipient of the Marquette Challenge Award funded through the General Research Fund
Project title: Wearable Sensors for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Jamie Kronenberg, PT, DPT, at The Ohio State University
Made possible by general donation from physcialtherapy.com to the General Research Fund
Project title: Validation of an Evidence-Based Return to Sport Movement Assessment After ACL Reconstruction

Dana McCarty, PT, DPT, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Recipient of the Pediatric PODS Award funded by the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy Fund
Project title: Contextual Factors Impacting Parent Presence in the NICU: Enhancing Preterm Infant Motor Development Through Parental Support

Andrew Post, PT, DPT, University of Iowa
Recipient of the Charlene Mae Nelson Award funded through the Charlene Mae Nelson Endowment Fund Project title: Impact of Physical Therapists’ Identification of Pain Mechanisms and Pain-Related Psychological Factors on Patient Outcomes in Clinical Practice

Michelle Rauzi, PT, DPT, ATC, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Funded by the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy 
Project title: Telehealth for Medically Complex Older Veterans

Jenna Zajac, PT, DPT, Boston University
Recipient of the Patricia Leahy Award funded by the Neurology Endowment Fund
Project title: The Relationship Between Walking Capacity and Real-World Walking Activity in Persons With Parkinson Disease

PODS II

Elanna Arhos, PT, DPT, University of Delaware
Funded through the APTA Supporting the Profession Fund
Project title: Can We Modify Gait Asymmetry After ACL Reconstruction?

Elizabeth Choma, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist, University of Minnesota
Recipient of the Scot C. Irwin Award funded by the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy Endowment Fund
Project title: Fall Risk and Fall Experiences in Older Adults With Peripheral Artery Disease: A Mixed Methods Approach

Kristin Johnson, PT, DPT, University of Iowa
Equally funded by the Charlene Mae Nelson Fund and the Academy of Pelvic Health
Project title: The Comparison of Females’ Capacity to Condition the Spinal Reflex and to Regulate Transcortical Reflex Responses to Perturbation During Dynamic Performance at Distinct Phases of the Menstrual Cycle

Allison Miller, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist, University of Delaware
Recipient of the Mary Lou Barnes Award funded by the Neurology Endowment Fund
Project Title Real-World Walking Activity Post-Stroke

Rebecca Molinini, PT, DPT, Virginia Commonwealth University
Equally funded through the APTA PODS Fund and the Legacy Scholarship Fund
Project title: Emotional Availability During Parent-Child Interaction in Children With Developmental Delays

Rachel Prusynski, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist, University of Washington
Recipient of the Karen St. John Award funded through the General Research Fund
Project title: Physical Therapy Processes and Outcomes in Skilled Nursing Facilities in the Context of Shifting Policy

Gaura Saini, PT, DPT, University of Minnesota
Recipient of the Phoebe Rhomberger Award funded by the Phoebe Rhomberger Fund
Project title: Scapular Mechanisms of Movement-Related Shoulder Dysfunction

Jonathan Tsay, PT, DPT, University of California Berkeley
Equally funded through the Neurology Endowment Fund and the General Research Fund
Project title: Neural Mechanisms Supporting Implicit and Explicit Sensorimotor Learning

Andrew Wagner, PT, DPT, The Ohio State University
Recipient of the Phoebe Rhomberger Award funded by the Phoebe Rhomberger Fund
Project title: Vestibular Contributions to Age-Related Imbalance


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