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. PMID: 9310431

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. PMID: 9310430

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. PMID: 24572820

Loudon JK, Ruhl M, Field EC. Ability to reproduce head position following whiplash injury.  Spine. 1997; 22:865-868. PMID: 9127919

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. PMID: 11506216

Field-Fote EC. Spinal cord control of movement: implications for locomotor rehabilitation following spinal cord injury. Phys Ther. 2000; 80:477-484. PMID: 10792858

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. PMID: 11506216

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. PMID: 11387589

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. PMID: 12088467

Perez MA*, Field-Fote EC, Floeter MK.  Patterned sensory stimulation induces plasticity in reciprocal Ia inhibition in humans.  J Neurosci, 23:2014-2018, 2003. PMID: 12657659

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. PMID: 12697289

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. PMID: 12657659

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

Field-Fote EC. Exciting recovery: augmenting practice with stimulation to optimize outcomes after spinal cord injury. Prog Brain Res. 2015; 218:103-126. doi: 10.1016/bs.pbr.2014.12.006. PMID: 25890134

Christy JB, Lobo MA, Bjornson K, Dusing SC, Field-Fote E, Gannotti M, Heathcock JC, OʼNeil ME, Rimmer JH. Technology for children with brain injury and motor disability: executive summary from Research Summit IV. Pediatr Phys Ther. 2016 Winter;28(4):483-9.  doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000317. PMID: 27661249

Field-Fote EC, Yang JF, Basso DM Ed D Pt, Gorassini MA.Supraspinal control predicts locomotor function and forecasts responsiveness to training after spinal cord injury. J Neurotrauma. 2016 Sep 27 doi: 10.1089/neu.2016.4565 PMID: 27673569. PMID: 27901413

Sandler EB*, Roach KE, Field-Fote EC. Dose-response outcomes associated with different forms of locomotor training in persons with chronic motor-incomplete spinal cord injury. Sandler EB, Roach KE, Field-Fote EC. J Neurotrauma. 2017;34(10):1903-1908 doi: 10.1089/neu.2016.4555. PMID: 27901413

Gomes-Osman J*, Tibbett JA, Poe BP, Field-Fote EC. Priming for improved hand strength in persons with chronic tetraplegia: a comparison of priming-augmented functional task practice, priming alone, and conventional exercise training. Front Neurol. 2017; 7:242. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2016.00242. PMID: 28144229, PMCID: PMC5239780

Estes SP*, Iddings JA*, Field-Fote EC. Priming neural circuits to modulate spinal reflex excitability. Front Neurol. 2017; Feb 03; 8:17. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2017.00017. PMID: 28217104, PMCID: PMC5289977

Boninger ML, Field-Fote EC, Kirshblum SC, Lammertse DP, Dyson-Hudson TA, Hudson L, Heinemann AW. Research progress from the SCI Model Systems (SCIMS): an interactive discussion on future directions. J Spinal Cord Med. 2017: 1-7. doi: 10.1080/10790268.2017.1314879. PMID: 28417673

Luca CC, Nadayil G, Dong C, Nahab FB, Field-Fote E, Singer C. Dalfampridine in Parkinson’s disease related gait dysfunction: A randomized double blind trial.J Neurol Sci. 2017 Aug 15;379:7-11. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2017.05.011. PMID: 28716283

Gant K, Nagle K, Cowan R, Field-Fote E, Nash M, Kressler J, Thomas CK, Castellanos M, Widerstrom-Noga E, Anderson KD. Body system effects of a multi-modal training program targeting chronic, motor complete thoracic spinal cord injury. J Neurotrauma. 2017 Aug 10. PMID: 28795657. doi: 10.1089/neu.2017.5105.

Manella KJ*, Roach KE, Field-Fote EC. Temporal indices of ankle clonus and relationship to electrophysiologic and clinical measures in persons with spinal cord injury. J Neurol Phys Ther. 2017;41(4):229-238. PMID: 28922314. doi: 10.1097/NPT.0000000000000197.

Tibbett J*, Widerström-Noga EG, Thomas CK, Field-Fote EC. Impact of spasticity on transfers and activities of daily living in individuals with spinal cord injury. J Spinal Cord Med. 2018 Jan 15:1-14. PMID: 29334339doi: 10.1080/10790268.2017.1400727.

Bolliger M, Blight AR, Field-Fote EC, Musselman K, Rossignol S, Barthélemy D, Bouyer L, Popovic MR, Schwab JM, Boninger ML, Tansey KE, Scivoletto G, Kleitman N, Jones LAT, Gagnon DH, Nadeau S, Haupt D, Awai L, Easthope CS, Zörner B, Rupp R, Lammertse D, Curt A, Steeves J. Lower extremity outcome measures: considerations for clinical trials in spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord. 2018 Apr 27. PMID: 29700477. doi: 10.1038/s41393-018-0097-8.

Jones LAT, Bryden A, Wheeler TL, Tansey KE, Anderson KD, Beattie MS, Blight A, Curt A, Field-Fote E, Guest JD, Hseih J, Jakeman LB, Kalsi-Ryan S, Krisa L, Lammertse DP, Leiby B, Marino R, Schwab JM, Scivoletto G, Tulsky DS, Wirth E, Zariffa J, Kleitman N, Mulcahey MJ, Steeves JD. Considerations and recommendations for selection and utilization of upper extremity clinical outcome assessments in human spinal cord injury trials. Spinal Cord. 2018;56(5):414-425. PMID: 29284795. PMID: 29284795 doi: 1038/s41393-017-0015-5.

McKay WB, Sweatman WM, Field-Fote EC. The experience of spasticity after spinal cord injury: perceived characteristics and impact on daily life. Spinal Cord. 2018 May;56(5):478-486. PMID: 29339776 doi: 10.1038/s41393-017-0038-y.

Hammad R, Furbish C, Sweatman WM, Field-Fote EC. Lymphedema techniques to manage edema after SCI: a retrospective analysis. Spinal Cord. 2018 Jun 12. PMID: 29895875. doi: 10.1038/s41393-018-0141-8.

Estes S, Iddings JA, Ray S, Kirk-Sanchez NJ, Field-Fote EC. Comparison of single-session dose response effects of whole body vibration on spasticity and walking speed in persons with spinal cord injury. Neurotherapeutics. 2018 Jun 29. doi: 10.1007/s13311-018-0644-1. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 29959653

Bamman MM, Cutter GR, Brienza DM, Chae J, Corcos DM, DeLuca S, Field-Fote E, Fouad MN, Lang CE, Lindblad A, Motl RW, Perna CG, Reisman D, Saag KM, Savitz SI, Schmitz KH, Stevens-Lapsley J, Whyte J, Winstein CJ, Michel ME. Medical Rehabilitation: Guidelines to Advance the Field With High-Impact Clinical Trials. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2018 Aug 24. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2018.08.173. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 30148997

James ND, McMahon SB, Field-Fote EC, Bradbury EJ. Neuromodulation in the restoration of function after spinal cord injury. Lancet Neurol. 2018 Oct;17(10):905-917. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(18)30287-4. Epub 2018 Sep 18. PMID: 30264729

Heinemann AW, Jayaraman A, Mummidisetty CK, Spraggins J, Pinto D, Charlifue S, Tefertiller C, Taylor HB, Chang SH, Stampas A, Furbish CL, Field-Fote EC. Experience of Robotic Exoskeleton Use at Four Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems Centers. J Neurol Phys Ther. 2018 Oct;42(4):256-267. doi: 10.1097/NPT.0000000000000235. PMID: 3019951

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

Awards and Honors

Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, 1980

Golden Key National Honor Society, 1982

Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, 1982

Graduated Cum Laude with Honors, University of Miami, 1984

Outstanding Student Award, Florida Physical Therapy Association, 1984

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

Commencement Speaker, Northwestern University Department of Physical Therapy, 2013

Commencement Speaker, Washington University in St. Louis, Physical Therapy Program, 2013

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

Eugene Michels Lecturer, APTA, 2014

White Coat Ceremony Speaker, Emory University Division of Physical Therapy, 2014

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

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

Oxford Debate team member, APTA, 2016

Appointment to the National Institutes of Health, National Advisory Board on Medical Rehabilitation Research, 2017 – 2021

Commencement Speaker, Arcadia University, Department of Physical Therapy, 2018