The University of Kansas is regarded as one of the premier research institutions in the country, and researchers in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science are at the forefront of advancing knowledge in health care.
Students not only have the opportunity to learn from accomplished clinicians, but also benefit from scientists striving to expand knowledge in a variety of health and science areas.
Work by faculty members in the department are focused around two themes: 1) rehabilitation and health promotion in people with pain or neurologic conditions; and 2) innovations in physical therapy education.
The CORR lab is studying the biomechanical and biochemical factors contributing to low back pain and to advance clinical research in rehabilitation for patients with low back pain. The lab team is focused on research related to improving lumbar spine surgery outcomes, opioid utilization, phenotyping central sensitization in chronic low back pain, understanding central pain processing, and conservative rehabilitation approaches.
This research lab aims to uncover the biochemical and molecular mechanisms that benefit cardiac muscle in people with diabetes. Using magnetic resonance imaging, KU researchers have been able to demonstrate that physical exercise improves the heart's ability to contract and relax in people with diabetes.
The major goal of ongoing research in this lab is to improve the health and wellness of people with chronic disease or disability.
The mission of this lab is to improve rehabilitation outcomes in neurological conditions through simulation, including virtual reality treadmills, driving simulation, and eye tracking.
Scientists aim to promote excellence and collaboration to optimize physical therapy education.
Through the study of posture and gait disorders in post-stroke individuals, as well as those suffering from Parkinson’s disease, researchers are developing novel approaches and technologies in neuro-rehabilitation.
The REACH lab aims to understand the cardiovascular and pulmonary adaptations to chronic disease (heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, stroke and cancer) and to develop effective exercise interventions that maximize cardiovascular health.
By examining factors that influence motor skill learning such as aging, injury, and sleep, researchers seek to better understand how individuals with brain damage recover motor function and the underlying mechanisms that promote recovery.
Research in the STABILITI laboratory is focused on studying the effects of mild traumatic brain injury on balance in humans, as well as how the inner ear is affected by aging.