DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICAL THERAPY
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 Reese, Dr. Chad Lairamore, Dr. Twala Maresh, Dr. Tiffany Huitt, 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 Reese, Dr. Kevin Garrison, Dr. 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.
Diabetes and Obesity Research Group (DORG)
The Diabetes and Obesity Research Group (DORG) focuses on tests and interventions in the treatment of diabetes and obesity. Specifically, areas of research focus include childhood obesity, the effect of exercise training in type 2 diabetes, and diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The DORG has access to clinical populations and exercise research laboratories. The chair of the DORG is Dr. David Taylor.