Edelle Field-Fote, PT, PhD, FAPTA

Division of Physical Therapy
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
Emory University School of Medicine

Offices: 2020 Peachtree Rd NW
Email: edelle_field-fote@shepherd.org
Phone: (404) 603-4274 (Office)


Edelle Field-Fote, PT, PhD, FAPTA is the Director of Spinal Cord Injury Research at the Shepherd Center, Professor of Applied Physiology at Georgia Institute of Technology.  For over 20 years, her studies have focused on the development of interventions to promote neuroplasticity, and the use of adjuvant strategies to maximize the benefits of rehabilitation for improved function in persons with spinal cord injury.  Dr. Field-Fote is a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association and a Trustee of the Foundation for Physical Therapy.  Her work has been funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1997.  She is the editor/author of the textbook Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation(FA Davis Publishers), and her studies have been published in an array of peer-reviewed journals ranging from Physical Therapy, to the Journal of Neuroscience, and the Journal of Applied Biomechanics.  She currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy and as Executive Editor of the Journal of Motor Behavior


B.S., Physical Therapy, University of Miami; 1980 – 1984
M.S. Environmental Health and Safety, University of Miami; 1987 – 1990
Ph.D. Movement Science, Washington University in St. Louis; 1991 – 1995
Post-doctoral fellowship, Motor Control Physiology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, 1995 – 1997


Field EC.  Facilitating problem solving and critical thinking in physical therapy students. J Phys Ther Education. 1991; 6:3-5

Field EC. Older persons and chronic pain: education for long term management. Top Geriatric Rehabil. 1991; 6:17-24

Stein PSG, Victor JC, Field EC, Currie SN. Bilateral control of hindlimb scratching in the spinal turtle: contralateral circuitry contributes to the normal ipsilateral motor pattern of fictive rostral scratching. J Neurosci. 1995; 15:4343-4355  PMID: 7790913

Field EC, Stein PSG. Spinal cord coordination of hindlimb movements in the turtle. II. Interlimb temporal relationships during scratching and swimming.  J Neurophysiol. 1997; 78 (3):1404-1413

Field EC, Stein PSG. Spinal cord coordination of hindlimb movements in the turtle. I. Intralimb temporal relationships during scratching and swimming.  J Neurophysiol. 1997; 78 (3):1394-1403

Field EC, Abdel-Moty E, Loudon J. The effect of back-injury and load on ability to replicate a novel posture.   J Back Musculoskel Rehabil. 1997; 8:199-207

Loudon JK, Ruhl M, Field EC. Ability to reproduce head position following whiplash injury.  Spine. 1997; 22:865-868.

Field-Fote EC, Hufford T, Kerfoot N, Kizer S Calancie B. Effect of lower extremity weightbearing load on motoneuron excitability in able-bodied subjects. Electromyography Clin Neurophysiol. 2000; 40 (8):459-464.

Field-Fote EC. Spinal cord control of movement: implications for locomotor rehabilitation following spinal cord injury. Phys Ther. 2000; 80:477-484.

Field-Fote EC, Fluet GG, Schafer SD, Schneider E; Smith R, Downey PA, and Ruhl CD. The Spinal Cord Injury Functional Ambulation Inventory (SCI-FAI).   J Rehabil Med. 2001; 33:177-181. doi: 10.1080/165019701750300645.

Field-Fote EC. Combined use of body weight support, functional electrical stimulation and treadmill training to improve walking ability in individuals with chronic incomplete spinal cord injury.  Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2001; 82(6):818-824. doi: 10.1053/apmr.2001.23752.

Tepavac D and Field-Fote EC. Vector coding: a technique for quantification of intersegmental coupling in multicyclic behaviors.  J Appl Biomechanics. 2001; 17(3):259 – 270.

Field-Fote EC and Tepavac D. Improved intra-limb coordination in individuals with incomplete spinal cord injury following training with body weight support and functional electrical stimulation.  Phys Ther. 2002; 82:707-716.

Perez MA*, Field-Fote EC, Floeter MK.  Patterned sensory stimulation induces plasticity in reciprocal Ia inhibition in humans.  J Neurosci, 23:2014-2018, 2003.

Perez MA*, Field-Fote EC. Impaired posture-dependent modulation of disynaptic reciprocal Ia inhibition in individuals with incomplete spinal cord injury.  Neurosci Lett. 2003; 341:225-228. doi:10.1016/S0304-3940(03)00183-6.

Field-Fote EC. Quantification of functional behavior in humans and animals: time for a paradigm shift.  J Rehabil Res Dev. 2003 (Suppl 1); 40(4):19 – 24. doi: 10.1682/JRRD.2003.08.0019  PMID:15077645

Field-Fote EC, Andersen B, Robertson VJ, Spielholz NI. Monophasic and biphasic stimulation evoke different responses.  Muscle Nerve. 2003; 28:239-241. doi: 10.1002/mus.10414  PMID:12872331

Nash MS, Jacobs PL, Johnson BM, Field-Fote EC.  Metabolic and cardiac responses to robotic-assisted locomotion in motor-complete tetraplegia.  J Spinal Cord Med. 2004; 27:78-82.  PMID: 15077645

Perez MA*, Floeter MK, Field-Fote EC. Repetitive sensory input increases reciprocal Ia inhibition in individuals with incomplete spinal cord injury. J Neurol Phys Ther. 2004; 28(3):114-121. doi: 10.1097/01253086-200409000-00003.

Field-Fote EC. Electrical stimulation modifies spinal and cortical neural circuitry. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2004. 32 (4):155-160. doi: 0091-6331/3204/155-160.  PMID:15604934.

Beekhuizen KB*, Field-Fote EC. Massed practice versus massed practice with stimulation: effects on upper extremity function and cortical plasticity in individuals with incomplete spinal cord injury.  Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2005; 19:33-45. doi: 10.1177/1545968305274517.  PMID: 15673842

Field-Fote EC, Lindley SD, Sherman AL.  Locomotor training approaches for individuals with spinal cord injury: a preliminary report of walking-related outcomes.  J Neurol Phys Ther. 2005; 29(3):127-137. doi: 10.1097/01.NPT.0000282245.31158.09  PMID: 16398945

Field-Fote EC, Brown KM, Lindley SD. Influence of posture and stimulus parameters on post-activation depression of the soleus H-reflex in individuals with chronic spinal cord injury.  Neurosci Let. 2006; 410(1):37-41. doi: 016/j.neulet.2006.09.058  PMID: 17046161  PMCID: PMC1686173.

Hoffman LR*, Field-Fote EC.  Cortical reorganization following bimanual training and somatosensory stimulation in an individual with cervical spinal cord injury: a case report.   Phys Ther. 2007; 87(2):208-23. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20050365.  PMID: 17211341

Nash MS, Meltzer NM, Martins SC, Burns P, Lindley SD, Field-Fote EC. Nutrient supplementation post ambulation in persons with incomplete spinal cord injuries: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled case series.  Arch Phys Med Rehabil.2007; 88(2):228-33. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2006.11.012.  PMID:17270521

Field-Fote EC, Dietz V.  Single joint perturbation during gait: preserved compensatory response pattern in spinal cord injured subjects.  Clin Neurophysiol. 2007; 118(7):1607-16. doi:10.1016/j.clinph.2007.03.022.  PMID: 17475549  PMCID: PMC2695450.

Beekhuizen KB*, Field-Fote EC.  Sensory stimulation augments the effects of massed practice training in individuals with tetraplegia.  Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2008; 89(4):602-8. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2007.11.021.  PMID: 18373988

Ness LL*, Field-Fote EC.  Whole-body vibration improves walking function in individuals with spinal cord injury: a pilot study. Gait Posture. 2009; 30:436-40. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2009.06.016.  PMCID: 19648013  PMCID: PMC2753701.

Nooijen CFN*, ter Hoeve N, Field-Fote EC.  Gait quality is improved by locomotor training in individuals with SCI regardless of training approach.  J Neuroeng Rehabil, 2009; 6:36. doi: 10.1186/1743-0003-6-36  PMID: 19799783  PMCID: PMC2764722.

Ness LL*, Field-Fote EC.  Effect of whole-body vibration on quadriceps spasticity in individuals with spastic hypertonia due to spinal cord injury. Restor Neurol Neurosci. 2009; 27(6):621-31. doi: 10.3233/RNN-2009-0487.  PMID: 20042786

Field-Fote EC, Saumitra Sinha Ray.  Seated reach distance and trunk excursion accurately reflect dynamic postural control in individuals with motor-incomplete spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord. 2010; 48(10):745-9. doi: 10.1038/sc.2010.11.  PMID: 20157313  PMCID: PMC2894279.

Manella KJ*, Torres J, Field-Fote EC. Restoration of walking function in an individual with chronic complete (AIS A) spinal cord injury.  J Rehab Med. 2010; 42(8):795-8. doi: 10.2340/16501977-0593.  PMID: 20809063

Hoffman LR*, Field-Fote EC.  Functional and corticomotor changes in individuals with tetraplegia following unimanual or bimanual massed practice training with somatosensory stimulation: a pilot study.  J Neurol Phys Ther. 2010; 34(4):193-201. doi: 10.1097/NPT.0b013e3181fbe692.  PMID: 21084920

Field-Fote EC, Roach KE.  Influence of locomotor training approach on walking speed and distance in individuals with chronic spinal cord injury: a randomized clinical trial. Phys Ther.2011; 91(1):48-60. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20090359.  PMID: 21051593  PMCID: PMC3017322.

Goldstein MS, Scalzitti DA, Bohmert JA, Brennan GP, Craik RL, Delitto A, Field-Fote EC, Magistro CM, Powers CM, Shields RK.Vitalizing practice through research and research through practice: the outcomes of a conference to enhance the delivery of care.  Phys Ther.2011;91(8):1275-84. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20100339.  PMID: 21659467

Field-Fote EC, Ness LL, Ionno M. Vibration elicits involuntary, step-like behavior in individuals with spinal cord injury. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2012;26(7):861-9. doi: 10.1177/1545968311433603.  PMID: 22328683

Kressler J, Nash MS, Burns PA, Field-Fote EC.  Metabolic responses to four different body weight supported locomotor training approaches in persons with incomplete spinal cord injury.  Arch Phys Med Rehabil.  2013;94(8):1436-42. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2013.02.018.  PMID: 23473703

Manella KJ*, Roach KE, Field-Fote EC.  Operant conditioning to increase ankle control or decrease reflex excitability improves reflex modulation and walking function in chronic spinal cord injury.  J Neurophys.  2013;109(11):2666-79. doi: 10.1152/jn.01039.2011.  PMID: 23468393

Manella KJ*, Field-Fote EC.  Modulatory effects of locomotor training on extensor spasticity in individuals with motor-incomplete spinal cord injury.  Restor Neurol Neurosci. 2013;31(5):633-46. doi: 10.3233/RNN-120255.  PMID: 23735314

Gomes-Osman J* and Field-Fote EC. Bihemispheric anodal corticomotor stimulation using transcranial direct current stimulation improves bimanual typing task performance.  J Motor Behav.  2013;45(4):361-7. doi: 0.1080/00222895.2013.808604.  PMID: 23796102   

Hoffman LR*, Field-Fote EC.  Effects of practice combined with somatosensory or motor stimulation on hand function in persons with spinal cord injury.  Top Spinal Cord Inj Rehabil.2013;19(4):288-99. doi: 10.1310/sci1904-288.  PMID: 24244094  PMCID: PMC3816723.

Kressler J, Thomas CK, Field-Fote EC, Sanchez JC, Widerström-Noga E, Cilien DC, Gant K, Ginnety K,  Gonzalez H, Martinez A, Anderson K, and Nash MS. Understanding therapeutic benefits of overground bionic ambulation: exploratory case series in persons with chronic, complete spinal cord injury.  Arch Phys  Med Rehabil.2014; 95(10):1878-1887. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2014.04.026.  PMID: 24845221

Gomes-Osman J* and Field-Fote EC. Cortical vs. afferent stimulation as an adjunct to functional task practice training: a randomized, comparative pilot study in people with cervical spinal cord injury. Clin Rehabil. 2015; 29(8):771-82  doi: 10.1177/0269215514556087.  PMID: 25381344

Wu X, Liu J, Tanadini LG, Lammertse DP, Blight AR, Kramer JL, Scivoletto G, Jones L, Kirshblum S, Abel R, Fawcett J, Field-Fote E, Guest J, Levinson B, Maier D, Tansey K, Weidner N, Tetzlaff WG, Hothorn T, Curt A, Steeves JD.  Challenges for defining minimal clinically important difference (MCID) after spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord. 2015; 53:84-91. doi: 10.1038/sc.2014.232. Review.  PMID: 25510192

Gomes-Osman J* and Field-Fote EC. Improvements in hand function in adults with chronic tetraplegia following a multi-day 10Hz rTMS intervention combined with repetitive task practice. J Neurol Phys Ther, 2015; 39(1):23-30 doi: 10.1097/NPT.0000000000000062.  PMID: 25415549  PMCID: PMC4270905

Bosveld R*, Field-Fote EC. Single-dose effects of whole body vibration on quadriceps strength in individuals with motor-incomplete spinal cord injury.  J Spinal Cord Med. 2015 Feb 9. doi: 10.1179/2045772315Y.0000000002.  [Epub ahead of print].  PMID: 25664489

NOTE: asterisk (*) denotes student or post-doctoral associate mentored by E.C. Field-Fote

Awards and Honors

Mary McMillan Scholar (entry level), American Physical Therapy Association, 1984

Tau Beta Pi, National Engineering Honor Society, 1990

Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, 1995

Eugene Michels New Investigator Award, American Physical Therapy Association, 2001

Commencement Speaker, University of Miami Department of Physical Therapy, 2002

Commencement Speaker, University of Miami Department of Physical Therapy, 2005

New South Wales Ministry for Science & Medical Research. International Spinal Cord Exchange Fellow, 2007

Dorothy Briggs Memorial Scientific Inquiry Award, American Physical Therapy Association, 2008

Digitimer Distinguished Lecture Award, American Society of Neurophysiologic Monitoring, 2008

Distinguished Alumnus Award, Washington University, Program in Physical Therapy, 2008

20th Annual Steven J Rose Lecturer, Washington University, Program in Physical Therapy, 2009

Difference Maker Award, Rick Hansen Foundation, 2011

Chattanooga Research Award, American Physical Therapy Association, 2012

John H.P. Maley 17th Lecture Award, American Physical Therapy Association, 2012

11th G. Maureen Rodgers Visions For Physical Therapy Lecture, Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, 2012

Catherine Worthingham Fellow (FAPTA), American Physical Therapy Assoc, 2013

Maley Award for Outstanding Leadership in Research, Research Section APTA, 2015

Award for Excellence in Neurologic Research, Neurology Section APTA, 2015