Dr. Trisha Kesar wins the 2020 APTA Eugene Michels New Investigator Award

Dr. Kesar, who was recently promoted to Associate Professor, received the Eugene Michels New Investigator Award from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). This award recognizes physical therapists who have engaged in independent research efforts within 10 years of completing their doctoral degree or post-doctoral training, and whose research makes significant impact on the physical therapy profession. This national recognition is a testament to Dr. Kesar’s research accomplishments and prominence. Over the past 10 years, Dr. Kesar has demonstrated a focused and independent research trajectory elucidating biomechanical and neural correlates underlying treatments for rehabilitating post-stroke gait dysfunction. She has over 42 peer-reviewed publications on gait retraining, stroke gait biomechanics, non-invasive stimulation, and training-induced plasticity in lower limb muscles. Her work revealed advantages of novel functional electrical stimulation patterns and paradigms. Her NIH-funded K-award evaluated non-invasive methods to rigorously probe neuromotor control of lower extremity musculature using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS), and combinatorial methods. Her ongoing NIH-funded R01 grant award investigates the time courses and neuromechanics processes underlying recovery of locomotor function in response to clinically-relevant gait treatments. A parallel research path evaluates real-time biofeedback and innovative gaming interfaces for stroke gait retraining. By understanding how, why, and for whom gait retraining is effective, her long-term research goal is to maximize locomotor recovery post-stroke. The division congratulates Dr. Kesar on this recognition!