Alessander Santos

Photo of Alessander Santos
Alessander Santos (Alex)
Associate Professor
(269) 387-7202
3454 Health and Human Services Building, Mail Stop 5383
Mailing address: 
Department of Physical Therapy
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5383 USA

Dr. Alessander Danna dos Santos is a licensed physical therapist in both the U.S. and Brazil. He obtained his physical therapy degree from the State University of Londrina (Londrina, Brazil) followed by completion of a musculoskeletal rehabilitation residency at the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine. He received a Master’s degree in Human Movement Science at the State University of Sao Paulo (Rio Claro, Brazil), and a Ph.D. in Kinesiology from Penn State University. He also completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Arizona State University.

Dr. Danna-dos-Santos’ current research focuses on the several aspects of human movement control including: [1] understanding the neural mechanisms involved in multi-muscle control in health and disease across the lifespan; [2] development of analytical tools for the analysis of fine motor skills and performance; and [3] translational studies intended to improve clinical methods of diagnosis and treatment in human rehabilitation. Currently he is investigating oculomotor performance and its potential clinical use in the rapid diagnosis of traumatic brain injury (including concussion). His research involves collaboration with multiple institutions and has resulted in successful acquisition of extramural funding. He has extensive publications in top-tier scientific, medical, and rehabilitation journals in addition to numerous national and international presentations.

Dr. Danna-dos-Santos’ teaching experience in a DPT curriculum ranges from basic science to research oriented courses, as well as neurological and musculoskeletal rehabilitation, all of which complement his research interests in areas of human movement science and motor control. Dr. Danna-dos-Santos has mentored a large number of students including physical therapy graduate students and residents, undergraduates, and high-school students. Through his mentorship he actively promotes the inclusion of a more diverse population in education within human movement sciences and physical rehabilitation. He has provided opportunities and mentorship to students and fellow professionals belonging to multiple nationalities, women seeking to initiate or return to academics, students of low socioeconomic status, veterans who are students, and Native American students. Over the last six years he has also mentored students from Brazil, Turkey, the U.S., and Portugal. Thus, he seeks to foster growth of professionals regardless of their origin or status with the goal of helping to advance their professional aspirations.