My primary area of research is focused around how to improve outcomes, measures/tools and interventions in the rehabilitation of adults with neurologic dysfunction. My areas of interest include medical management, tests/measures and interventions of those with brain injury and vestibular dysfunction. My current investigation is in the area of adults with post-concussion syndrome. Three areas that I am investigating include the current validity and reliability of physical therapy outcome measures commonly used in adults with post-concussion; how cognitive based therapy may be needed to further assist in physical therapy treatment interventions; and the medical management of those with post-concussion who have BPPV. My overall goals are to investigate ways to reduce healing times and financial burden associated with adults who are post-concussed in the physical therapy outpatient realm.
My primary research interest is exploring all aspects of the relatively new practice of physical therapy in the emergency department setting. This is a very challenging environment and patient population to study but one that good preliminary findings to show the need for our presence. This topic is of interest to both the physical therapy profession as well as the emergency medicine community (including physicians, other health care professionals, and hospital administrators). I’ve presented multiple studies on this topic nationally and internationally at physical therapy conferences; the next aim is to present these findings at emergency medicine conferences.
My areas of scholarly interest are rooted in the scholarship of teaching and learning. My dissertation topic and areas of research interests include adult education, specifically professional education (i.e. physical therapy, medicine, law, nursing, etc.). I investigate how professional students learn and make meaning of content using the frameworks of several established education and development models and theories: Zimmerman’s (1986) & Pintrich’s (1990) Self-regulated Learning; Arnett’s (2000) Emerging Adulthood, Biggs’ (1985) Student Approaches to Learning [Surface versus Deep]; and Shunk’s (1991) Self-Efficacy and Academic Motivation. I am specifically interested in how students’ learning behaviors and motivation influence their learning throughout the curriculum.
The goal of my primary research trajectory is to study the interactions between bioenergetics, motor control, and biomechanics during gross motor activities such as running, jumping, cycling, and sport-specific tasks in healthy and pathological states. This research trajectory is important because the interactions between these three sub-domains within exercise science are widely recognized within the scientific and medical communities to interact positively in the optimization of human movement, health, and wellness. Conversely, these three sub-domains converge negatively in sequelae of acute and chronic injury, disease states, and un-wellness. Investigations within this research trajectory also extend into investigations of environmental factors that influence gross motor activities, such as public schools and universities, athletics, governments, and workplaces; the policies and practices within these environments influence their respective cultures, and this in turn typically subtly influences the above-noted movement behaviors.
My primary academic areas of focus include examination and intervention for pediatric and neuromuscular conditions, as well as clinical education. I plan to continue research in the areas of balance following stroke and traumatic brain injury, development in children with neurological disorders, and student remediation. My dissertation was on “Health Science Administrators Perception of Remediation of Students in Clinical Track Programs,” and is published in ProQuest. With additional research in areas of “Increasing Balance in Traumatic Head Injured Patients” and “Determining the Age at Which Preschoolers Develop Hand Dominance.”
My primary research interests are people with diabetes and chronic, non-healing neuropathic wounds and tendinopathy at the hip, ankle, knee, and shoulder. My research observes healing rates and measures blood flow using Laser Doppler flow meter, duplex ultrasound, and/or photoplethysmography (PPG) before and after interventions that include exercise and biophysical agents. Musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging is used to observe changes in skin, tendon, ligament, bone, and nerves in wounds and tendinopathy research. I also have an interest in tele-medicine/rehabilitation. My research has an overall goal of optimizing movement and healing rate along with decreasing health care costs.
Alessander Danna dos Santos
My current research focuses on the several aspects of human movement control including:  understanding the neural mechanisms involved in multi-muscle control in health and disease across the lifespan;  development of analytical tools for the analysis of fine motor skills and performance; and  translational studies intended to improve clinical methods of diagnosis and treatment in human rehabilitation. Currently I am investigating oculomotor performance and its potential clinical use in the rapid diagnosis of traumatic brain injury (including concussion). My research involves collaboration with multiple institutions and has resulted in successful acquisition of extramural funding. I have extensive publications in top-tier scientific, medical, and rehabilitation journals in addition to numerous national and international presentations.
My focus in clinical research is to study human movement and the application of sensor-based technology in the assessment, diagnostics and rehabilitation in movement system disorders. Movement is complex and foundational to an individual’s mobility and locomotion – its understanding is imperative to affecting an individual’s maximized functional capacity, performance and ability to engage with their environment.
As an educator, my scholarship of teaching and learning agenda is to study conditions that affect the quality of physical therapist clinical education and develop solutions as to how best support the student, CI, SCCE, DCE and other various stakeholders involved in clinical education.
My primary area of research interest is how to best support caregivers that support loved ones with physical needs at home. Physical therapists routinely work with individuals with conditions such as stroke or spinal cord injury. Physical therapists provide training for caregivers with tasks such as transfers and ambulation, and also provide equipment recommendations. My research will be directed towards determining how to best support caregivers with effective training, and identification of the benefits of training with the ultimate goal of allowing individuals to remain in the community.