Health Professions

SHP co-hosts first UT Health SA Rehabilitation Research Day

Poster presenter at UT Health San Antonio Rehabilitation Research Day at

By Kate Hunger

The School of Health Professions and the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine hosted the first UT Health San Antonio Rehabilitation Research Day.

The May 11 event featured virtual research presentations from faculty in the Department of Physical Therapy, the Department of Occupational Therapy, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine on topics ranging from traumatic brain injury to knee joint biomechanics of tai chi forms, the effect of transcranial direct current stimulation and aerobic exercise on neuroplasticity, how to decrease instances of bathroom falls, and concussion rehabilitation.

Two keynote speakers addressed attendees: Steven Wolf, PT, PhD, FAPTA, professor at Emory University School of Medicine, discussed the interface between rehabilitation and technology, and David Cifu, MD, professor and associate dean of innovation and systems integration and chair of the Department of Physical Medicine &Rehabilitation at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, addressed blast injuries, concussions, dementia and other topics.

The event also included in-person poster presentations. Ashleigh Morgan, who graduated with her doctorate of physical therapy from the School of Health Professions in May, presented a poster of her research group’s capstone project, “Can kinematic outcomes help distinguish between different levels of upper limb motor impairment severity?” The poster won first place in the School of Health Professions poster contest.

“It’s valuable for students to participate in research and see representation of research conducted specific to rehabilitation sciences for the future of our profession as physical therapists,” Morgan said of the research day event.

Department of Physical Therapy chair and Associate Professor Greg Ernst, PT, PhD, ECS, said organizers hope to expand the event next year to allow more in-person interaction.

“The event had some excellent speakers and was a great opportunity for students, residents and faculty to present their research and collaborate with other departments,” he said.

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