Gillick Pediatric Research Lab

Dr. Gillick with a young patient.


In the Gillick Pediatric Research Lab, we believe that all children with cerebral palsy have the potential to influence their level of function throughout their lifetime.



Bernadette Gillick and her fellow researchers are focused on making a significant, positive impact on the lives of children with cerebral palsy through advancing neurorehabilitation. Inquiries and discussions are welcome, without obligation of participation. 

Dr. Gillick, McKnight Land-Grant Professor, has been named a Representative on the Global Professional Education Committee for the International Alliance of Academies of Childhood Disability.  This Alliance represents the American/Canadian, Australasian and European Academies of Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Medicine and Childhood Disability.  Her role will involve promoting a global standard of multi-disciplinary education and dissemination surrounding interventions for children with disabilities and their families. In addition, Dr. Gillick has been awarded the Eugene Michels Outstanding New Investigator Award from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). This national award recognizes outstanding contributions to research related to the physical therapy profession.

Lab News

  • Our main NIH K01 research project, tDCS/CIMT in Cerebral Palsy, has now been completed, published and highlighted by the NIH (links below). This was a study in the making since 2011, with the K01 commencing in 2015. Over 50 investigators and collaborators contributed to this research, with the dedication of 20 enrolled children and their families from across the United states. As PI, I am very grateful for the efforts dedicated to this cause and wanted to extend my most heart-felt appreciation.  May we continue to develop robust and durable interventions for these children across the lifespan, integrating words such as 'cure' and 'prevent' like never before. Read more about the study on the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development page and European Journal of Paediatric Neurology
  • Gillick Lab Infant Study featured on KARE 11 News. Click HERE to see the video.

Look inside the lab                       Gillick Newsletter


Summary: In this study, we evaluated the children from our repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)/Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) clinical trial using MRI, a finger tracking task, and TMS testing.  TMS testing allows us a “window into the brain” to learn if the child has preserved corticospinal tract input to the more-affected hand.  We learned that the group of children who had preserved corticospinal tract input (identified with a motor evoked potential on their lesioned hemisphere), had greater volumes in brain structures as compared to the group of children who did not have preserved corticospinal tracts. The difference in volumes was associated with reduced ability to accurately complete a finger tracking task with their less-affected hand. 

Summary: Pilot study incorporating our computerized modeling outcomes to investigate safety and feasibility using a form of non-invasive brain stimulation called transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS). TDCS has not previously been investigated in children with hemiparesis. No serious adverse events occurred, and no decline in cognitive or motor function was found. Minor adverse events are described.

Summary: Study which created a computerized model of a brain in order to establish optimal safety for the dose of non-invasive brain stimulation called transcranial direct current stimulation

Summary: Expansion of description from our original publication, specific to safety. No serious adverse events occured in our rTMS/CIMT study which used a form of non-invasive brain stimulation called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with constraint--induced therapy. The procedures we used to work with establishing and analyzing safety in our study and minor adverse events which are further described.

In response: A commentary article - Hoare, B. Putting some excitement into constraint-induced movement therapy. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. 2014; 56(1)5-6 doi:10.1111/dmcn.12272

Summary: Comments from an international expert on the novelty and outcomes related to our work.

Summary: Description of the changes in hand function and other measures in our rTMS/CIMT study. This study used a form of non-invasive brain stimulation called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) combined with constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT). We found that this intervention was well-tolerated and that 8 of 10 children in the intervention group showed significant improvements in hand function. No serious adverse events occurred, with the most common minor adverse events being headache and cast irritation which resolved within 24 hours.

Summary: Discussion of neuroplasticity (the brain's ability to change).

  • Gillick BT, Koppes A. “Gross motor outcomes in children with hemiparesis involved in a modified constraint induced therapy program”. J Ped Rehab Med. 2010: 171-175. PMID: 21791848

Summary: Children involved in a constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) program showed improvements also in gross motor function.


NIH Fellowship: Randomized Behavioral Clinical Trials

AAMC Early Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar - University of Minnesota Medical School Representative
Developmental Medicine Child Neurology Journal - Editor's Choice Manuscript

American Physical Therapy Association Section on Pediatrics - Best Dissertation Award
Keynote 2013 Graduation Speaker - Doctor of Physical Therapy

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation - Top 25 Article Summer 2012
University of Minnesota Clinical and Translational Science Institute - Best Poster Award

Alberta Children's Research Institute for Child/Maternal Health - Travel Award Recipient

American Academy of Cerebral Palsy/Development Medicine - Student Award
Foundation for Physical Therapy - Promotion of Doctoral Students II Scholarship

Seattle University Faculty Service/Community Engagement - Spirit of Community Award Nominee

Who's Who Among American Teachers

Rosalind Franklin/Chicago Medical School - Suma Cum Laude Graduate

Marquette University - Outstanding Alumni Scholarship Award

Marquette University - Outstanding Alumni Award


Calgary Pediatric Stroke Program provides children with cerebrovascular disease and their families with state-of-the-art diagnosis, treatment, and support while providing the opportunity to participate in leading clinical research initiatives. 

Cerebral Palsy Research Registry is a multi-institutional collaborative effort whose primary mission is to improve our understanding of cerebral palsy.

Children's Hemiplegia and Stroke Association exists to help children who have survived an early brain injury that results in hemiplegia or hemiparesis (weakness on one side of the body. is a registry and results database of publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants conducted around the world. is a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

International Alliance for Pediatric Stroke offers the needed resources, support, inspiration, knowledge and information that will empower you to better understand pediatric stroke.

Research Match is a free and secure registry developed by major academic institutions across the country who want to involve you in helping today's research studies make a real difference for everyone's health in the future.


Perinatal Stroke: Understanding Brain Reorganization through Infant Neuroexcitability and Neuroimaging
Funding: Australian Cerebral Palsy Alliance
Timeline: April 2016-March 2017 (NCE)
Dr. Gillick: Principal Investigator

Novel Neuromodulatory Intervention in the Rehabilitation of Pediatric Hemiparesis

Funding: NIH K01 Career Development Award from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Timeline: September 2014- June 2019
Project Goals: Evaluate the safety and efficacy of combined tDCS/CIMT in children with hemiparesis; and examine the influence of combined tDCS/CIMT on brain excitability and reorganization
Dr. Gillick's role: Principal Investigator

The Alberta Perinatal Stroke Program: Neuromodulation to Optimize Outcomes
Funding: Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Timeline: July 2015-June 2022
Dr. Gillick's role: Co-investigator

MRI-compatible integrated NIRS/EEG system for application to Clinical neuroscience
Funding: NIH 1 S10 OD021721-01
Timline: April 2016-March 2018
Dr. Gillick's role: User

Perinatal Stroke: Understanding Brain Reorganization through Infant Neuroimaging and Measures of Neuro-excitability
Funding: UMN Academic Health Center Seed Grant
Timline: April 2016-March 2017 (NCE)
Dr. Gillick's role: Principal Investigator

Previous Funding 

Associated Facilities

Gillick Lab (map)
Room 320
426 Church St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0222

Center for Neurobehavioral Development (map)
717 Delaware Street SE, Ste. 333
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Clinical & Translational Science Institute (map)
Masonic Memorial Building
424 Harvard Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (map)
2021 Sixth Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Lab Director

Bernadette T. Gillick
Bernadette Gillick, PhD, MSPT, PT
Principle Investigator 

Lab Location

320 Children's Rehabilitation Center
426 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Contact Us

Phone: 612-626-6415
Fax: 612-625-4274

Mailing Address

Gillick Pediatric Research Lab
University of Minnesota
420 Delaware Street SE
MMC 388
Minneapolis, MN 55455