Research News


Faculty members Paula Ludewig, PhD, PT, Arin Ellingson, PhD, and Ward Glasoe, PhD, PT, ATC and Professor Dan Keefe, PhD, from the Department of Compter Science and Engineering succeeded in obtaining an Institue for Engineering and Medicine (IEM) Seed Grant Program award ($75,000) to further develop their translational Musculoskeletal Group.

The U of M Division of Physical Therapy has opened what is believed to be the first private-pay clinical service involving repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to promote hand recovery following stroke.  PT faculty have been researching rTMS for 10 years.  Results have been mixed, similar to published findings elsewhere, such that some people benefit and some do not.  But a sufficient number of patients in earlier trials have expressed a desire to continue receiving rTMS that faculty have explored the ethics and feasibility of offering rTMS combined with physical therapy as a private-pay clinical service.  The U of M Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians have approved this initiative and it is now operating out of the Clinics and Surgery Center on the U of M campus.  Physician referral is required and U of M neurologists and physiatrists are actively referring adult patients with stroke, but the service is open to outside referrals.  Also, it is likely that the service will expand to pediatrics and to other conditions such as focal dystonia in the future.  The typical regimen involves 10 daily treatments of rTMS followed by hand exercise protocols totaling 90 minutes.  For more information, please contact the PT Division office at 612-625-2177. See BROCHURE for more details. To learn how to support this effort, please click here.

IEM Member Teresa J. Kimberley, PhD, PT, Associate Professor in the Division of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, was awarded a $1.5 million NIH Grant to investigate the pathophysiology in dystonia, a rare movement disorder. This will build upon Dr. Kimberley's previous work, in which she led a team of IEM members to develop a novel method for measuring cortical excitability in deep or intrinsic muscles. That early work was supported by NIH, MnDRIVE and IEM. The new NIH-funded project will combine non-invasive brain stimulation and neuorimaging to determine brain network function in people with different types of focal dystonia compared to that function in healthy people. "Dystonia is an enigmatic movement disorder, but I am optomistic that the innovative technology and techniques we are using will lead to a breakthrough in understanding this disorder nad help lead to meaningful treatment development," says Dr. Kimberley.

Linda Koehler, PhD, PT, CLT-LANA, was awarded funding from the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund.  The project will provide access to lymphedema evaluation tools to multiple sites throughout Minnesota and foster a collaborative environment to implement future cancer research.  The evaluation tools have the ability to detect early onset of lymphedema which could prevent the progression and potentially reverse the onset of lymphedema.  It's a collaborative project between the Masonic Cancer Center, U of M Foundation, Fairview Rehabilitation Services, University of Minnesota Physicians, and our department/division




Current opportunities for students

Dr. Teresa Jacobson Kimberley is seeking undergraduate or post-graduate students who are interested in participating in a directed research experience. Volunteers will be required to dedicate at least 10 hours per week to research. Interested individuals should contact her at

Video highlight

Bernadette Gillick, PhD, MSPT, PT, was recently invited to join President Kaler for a legislative press conference to share the impact of MnDRIVE funding in supporting research at the University of Minnesota. (Watch Video). Dr. Gillick is a member of the Brain Plasticity Lab (BPL) in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine.

BPL students and post-docs who are supported by MnDRIVE funding


Bernadette Gillick on Impact of MnDRIVE