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Faculty Research Interests

Faculty Research Interests

Janet Bezner - Dr. Bezner's research interests revolve around health promotion and wellness.  Specifically, she is investigating the effects of health behavior change coaching (both one-on-one and group coaching), the elements of culture that contribute most to health, the effects of long-term performance of Pilates on overall health and wellness and physical health, and the benefits of using Primal 7 technology for knee pain and disease.

Karen Gibbs – As a Certified Wound Specialist, Dr. Gibbs' primary area of research is focused on integumentary care/wound management curriculum and instruction and the role of the physical therapist in interdisciplinary wound management practiced.  Secondary areas of interest include infection control and evidence-based instruction techniques. 

Denise Gobert - Dr. Gobert's primary research interest centers around biomechanical analysis and rehabilitation strategies used to help patients with balance disorders due to acquired brain injury such as vestibular disorders, stroke or mild head injury.  Her published works focus on the visual-vestibular interactions used for successful coordination and balance control.

Mark Lester - The newest addition to our research team is Dr. Mark Lester.  He is an experienced researcher and has interests in three primary lines - investigating how novel technologies, such as wearable sensors, can be utilized to improve delivery of care and injury prevention strategies associated with neuromusculoskeletal injury and disease;  studying sensorimotor interactions in motor control and learning in individuals with neuromusculoskeletal injury and disease; and evaluating the role of community-based screening in the pathway to care and management of at risk populations for falls and neuromusculoskeletal injury.

Suzanne Okere - Dr. Okere has two themes in her research - cultural competence of physical therapists and instructional assistance aids for anatomy.  She manages study abroad projects/trips and has presented in several venues on the cultural development of students participating in study abroad projects.

Mary Elizabeth Parker - Dr. Parker's area of expertise and study are differential diagnosis, undiagnosed and rare disorders, and movement dysfunction in individuals with autism spectrum disorders.  She is interested in rare diseases including mitochondrial disorders, lysosomal storage disorders, and congenital disorders of glycosylation.  Her scholarship and teaching are supported by her service to U.R. Our Hope in her role as their Medical Liaison.

Angela Rich - Dr. Rich's passion resides in biomechanics and movement dysfunction.  Pain, chronic conditions and acute injuries are often a result of underlying postural and movement impairments.  Identifying static and dynamic impairments reveals what lies behind the condition and provides a window for individualized, concise intervention.  Considering the body function as a whole, recognition and restoration of optimal movement is necessary to truly address a condition.

"You treat a disease: You win, you lose.  You treat a person, I guarantee you win- no matter the outcome." - Patch Adams

Barbara Sanders - As a sports physical therapist, Dr. Sanders is interested in preparticipation physical examinations for athletes and health and fitness of physical therapy students. A long time interest, Dr. Sanders has had several projects investigating physical therapy student selection processes. In addition to these areas, she has supervised students involved in a variety of projects - from minority recruitment and retention to high school students' knowledge of physical therapy.

Scott Shaffer -  Dr. Shaffer's research and scholarship contributions span three lines of investigation to include: 1) injury risk and physical performance assessment in healthy and injured service members, 2) the influence of neuromuscular dysfunction and aging on postural stability, and 3) neuromusculoskeletal and electrophysiologic outcome assessment.

Steve Spivey - Dr. Spivey is interested in a lot of different things, so it's really hard for him to narrow down a specific area of research.  His current projects focus on teaching Spanish in the curriculum, wound care, cultural competence, self-efficacy of DPT students, and using aquatic exercise to promote changes in patients with traumatic brain injury.

Shannon Williams - Dr. Williams is actively involved in clinical education.  Currently she is involved in projects looking at patient satisfaction in a physical therapy student-run clinic.  She is also involved in a project funding by the APTA looking at Home Health outcomes and trends.