Faculty and PhD Student Research

The Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Central Arkansas in pursuit of its mission to develop

outstanding physical therapy scholars has focused research groups in four areas.  Below you can see a description of each research group as well as a link to both group and individual research profiles.  All of the faculty can also be viewed from the PT Faculty and Staff page.

Adult Neurological Research Group (ANRG)

The Adult Neurological Research Group (ANRG) focuses on rehabilitation following damage to the central nervous system and the spinal cord.  Areas of research focus include rehabilitation of foot-drop, gait, swallowing, and of strength and balance following stroke and head injury.  Studies of spinal cord injury focus on the prevention and reduction of spasticity.  The ANRG has access to clinical populations and to research laboratories using brain and peripheral nerve stimulation to facilitate recovery of function.  Additionally, a human motion analysis laboratory is available for research studies.  Studies of spinal cord injury use passive exercise to reduce spasticity in both animals and humans.  The ANRG is headed by Dr Mark Mennemeier.   Its members include Dr Nancy ReeseDr. Chad LairamoreDr. Twala Maresh, and Dr. Kevin Garrison.

Spinal Cord Injury Research Group (SCIG)

The spinal cord injury research group focuses on mechanisms and interventions for spasticity and hyperreflexia that develop following a spinal cord injury.  The spinal cord injury research group has collaborations with the Center for Translational Neuroscience (CTN) at UAMS and has utilized an animal model of spinal cord injury as well as a clinical trial with patients with spinal cord injury.  The members of the group include Dr. Nancy ReeseDr. Kevin GarrisonDr. Charlotte Yates and Dr. Twala Maresh.

Pediatric Research Group (PRG)

The pediatric research group has a diverse research agenda including studying interventions to reduce pain and stress in the neonate and the effects of hippotherapy intervention on gait and balance.  The pediatric group currently is involved in clinical research projects at Arkansas Children’s hospital, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Allied Therapy and Consulting Services.  The pediatric group is headed by Dr. Charlotte Yates.  Its members include Dr. Margaret McGee and Dr. Misty Booth.

Musculoskeletal Research Group (MRG)
The musculoskeletal research group has a diverse research agenda focusing on the improvement of physical therapy practice in the areas of orthopedics and sports. The group studies new and existing physical performance, functional, and special orthopedic tests & measures in both methodological and intervention research. The members of the group include Dr. Bill Bandy, Dr. James Fletcher, and Dr. Steve Forbush.