Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Mona Bains, PhD

Assistant Professor, School of Physical Therapy, University of the Incarnate Word

A San Antonio native and first-generation college graduate, Dr. Mona Bains completed her bachelor's degree at St. Mary’s University and her doctorate degree in pharmacology from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She then carried out a National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke-funded postdoctoral fellowship at The University of Colorado School of Medicine, examining neuronal cell death mechanisms.

She continued her interests in the field of neurodegeneration by investigating the pharmacological profiles of putative neuroprotective compounds in models of traumatic brain injury at the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center at The University of Kentucky. A desire to focus more on teaching led her to her next position as an Adjunct Faculty of Pharmacology and Research in a Master of Physician Assistant Studies at St. Catherine University in St. Paul.

She is currently an Assistant Professor at the School of Physical Therapy at the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW).


  • B.S., Biology, St. Mary’s University, 2001
  • Ph.D., Pharmacology, The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, 2007

Career Path

I first recognized my passion for teaching when I mentored undergraduate students as a postdoctoral fellow. I then sought opportunities to gain classroom experience by taking on several graduate level lectures at the University of Kentucky in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, as well as the local community college in Lexington.

These teaching experiences, in addition to my research work helped me transition from a postdoctoral fellow to adjunct faculty at St. Catherine University. There I developed and taught the pharmacology and research curriculum and confirmed my passion for teaching in health professional programs at the graduate level.

With the support of strong academic advisors and mentors, I followed a career path that supported my passion for teaching and allowed me use my pharmacology background.

Since joining the School of Physical Therapy at the University of Incarnate Word, I have gained insight and experience in the scholarship of teaching and learning, creative and innovative instructional methods, and interprofessional education.

My experience with curriculum design has enabled me to not only teach pharmacology, neuroscience, and research, but also contribute to curriculum content development and multi-course integration.