State of the Science Meeting Speaker Biographies

Catherine Backman, PhD, OT(C), FCAOT

Dr. Catherine Backman is Professor and Head, Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, University of British Columbia (UBC) and Research Scientist, Arthritis Research Centre of Canada.  She is involved in multiple aspects of teaching in the occupational therapy (MOT) program.  She also supervises MSc and PhD students in rehabilitation sciences and inter-disciplinary studies. Dr. Backman’s research focuses on the impact of chronic illness on participation in everyday activities, including paid and unpaid work, and evaluating the effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions. Her research has been funded by national, provincial, and private foundations and published in over 200 journal articles, abstracts and book chapters.

Kristin Baker, PhD

Dr. Baker is an Assistant Research Professor at Boston University College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College in the Department of Physical Therapy & Athletic Training. Dr. Baker’s research has primarily focused on examining the role that exercise and nutrition plays in the development and progression of knee osteoarthritis, both structurally and clinically.  In addition she developed and tested a strengthening protocol for knee osteoarthritis.  In her most recent clinical trial she extended the strengthening protocol to include behavioral medicine and technology to examine the effect of these approaches on the adoption of, and adherence to, exercise in adults with knee osteoarthritis. Dr. Baker has been the recipient of several grants through NIH, National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), American Federation of Aging Research (AFAR), and the Arthritis Foundation.

Nancy Baker, ScD, MPH, OTR/L

Dr. Baker is an Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy and a graduate school faculty member of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Baker received her ScD degree in Therapeutic Studies from the Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, her MPH in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2009, and her Occupational Therapy degree from Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Boston University in 1997. Dr. Baker’s research focuses on developing and testing methods to enhance the musculoskeletal health of workers. She has received funding from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health as well as several foundations and university grants.

Paolo Bonato, PhD

Dr. Paolo Bonato is the Director of the Motion Analysis Laboratory at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, located in Charlestown Massachusetts, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School. He is also a member of the Affiliated Faculty of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, and an Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the MGH Institute of Health Professions. Dr. Bonato is the founding and current Editor-in-Chief of the Journal on NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine, and an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. He is an international expert in rehabilitation technology with special emphasis on wearable technology and robotics.

Teresa J. Brady, PhD

Teresa Brady is a Senior Behavioral Scientist in the Arthritis Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and has helped shape the public health approach to arthritis since the program’s origin in 1999. Dr. Brady has primary responsibility for providing technical assistance on self-management education and self-management support strategies to state health departments, universities and other organizations. Her current research interests focus on self-management support and translation of scientific evidence into public health action. Dr. Brady has a PhD in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, and a BS in Occupational Therapy from the University of North Dakota.

David Felson, MD, MPH

Dr. Felson is a Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, and Chief of the Boston University Clinical Epidemiology Research and Training Unit. Dr. Felson is an epidemiologist studying risk factors for osteoarthritis and the burden of osteoarthritis in the population. He is the principal investigator of the NIH-funded Boston University site of the Multicenter Osteoarthritis (MOST) Study. He has received numerous grants from the National Institutes of Health, has an extensive publication record, and is well recognized internationally for his research. Dr. Felson is ENACT’s Director of Training and also directs the training component at the Boston University CTSA and is the PI of a T32 in rheumatology.

G. Kelley Fitzgerald, PhD, PT, FAPTA

Kelley Fitzgerald is Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, and Director of the Physical Therapy Clinical and Translational Research Center, both at the University of Pittsburgh. His current clinical and research activities focus on evaluation and treatment of knee disorders with a special emphasis in knee osteoarthritis. He has received numerous research grants including federal funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Health Research and Quality, and has published numerous research and other articles related to physical therapy management of knee disorders. He served on the Expert’s Panel for the recently revised ACR guidelines for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the hip, knee, and hand. He has previously served on the editorial board for the Physical Therapy Journal and he is currently a member of the editorial board for Arthritis Care and Research and the Journal of Physiotherapy Practice and Research.

Scott M. Hasson, EdD, PT, FACSM, FAPTA

Dr. Hasson is Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at Georgia Regents University. Dr. Hasson has been active in research and publishing during his 29-year academic career. He has been co-principal investigator for 3 national training grants at the doctoral and post-doctoral level. In addition, he has been funded by the Department of Education and NASA. Dr. Hasson has published 67 peer-reviewed research articles and a textbook entitled “Clinical Exercise Physiology.” He has presented more than 150 national papers at Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Medicine meetings.

Susan Hughes, DSW

Dr. Hughes is a Professor of Community Health Sciences at the Institute of Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Hughes is a gerontologist and health policy analyst who has conducted numerous studies in the field of aging over the past 20 years with support from the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute on Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disease, the Veterans Health Administration and numerous private foundations. She has considerable experience conducting multi-site randomized trials. Dr. Hughes is principal investigator of the UIC Midwest Roybal Center for Health Maintenance, which has completed four longitudinal intervention studies about exercise adherence in older adults. She designed the evidence-based Fit and Strong! physical activity/behavior change program for older adults with arthritis. She is also collaborating with the National Council on Aging on a study of “Best Practice Physical Activity Programs for Older Adults,” funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Karen Jacobs, EdD, OTR/L, CPE, FAOTA

Dr. Jacobs is a Clinical Professor of Occupational Therapy and the Program Director of the distance education post-professional occupational therapy program at Boston University. Dr. Jacobs is also past president and vice president of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). She is a 2005 recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Akureyri in Akuryeri, Iceland. She received the Award of Merit from the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) in 2009, the Award of Merit from the American Occupational Therapy Association in 2003; and the Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lectureship Award in 2011. Dr. Jacobs’ research examines the interface between the environment and human capabilities. In particular, she examines the individual factors and environmental demands associated with increased risk of functional limitations among populations of university and middle school aged students, particularly in notebook computing, use of tablets such as iPads, backpack use, and the use of games such as WiiFit. Dr. Jacobs earned a doctoral degree at the University of Massachusetts, a Master of Science at Boston University, and a Bachelor of Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. She is the founding editor-in-chief of the international, inter-professional journal WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation (IOS Press, The Netherlands) and is a consultant in ergonomics, marketing and entrepreneurship.

Alan Jette, PT, PhD

Dr. Jette is a Professor of Health Policy & Management at Boston University’s School of Public Health and Director of Boston University’s Health & Disability Research Institute, where he serves many roles, including Director of the Boston Rehabilitation Outcome Measurement Center and the New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Boston Claude Pepper Older Americans Independence Center. Dr. Jette served as Chairperson for the IOM Committee, The Future of Disability in America (2004-2007). In 2013 he was elected as a member of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences.

Julie Keysor, PT, PhD

Dr. Keysor is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical and Athletic Training and Department of Medicine at Boston University. She is Director of the Center of Enhancing Activity and Participation among People with Arthritis (ENACT), the national NIDRR Arthritis Rehabilitation Research and Training Center. She has received funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Arthritis Foundation. Her research interests focus on intersection of function, environment, and behavior in the creation of disability and enhancement of participation among older adults and persons with arthritis. She uses clinical research methods in epidemiology to examine disablement and clinical trials to evaluate interventions designed to enhance participation (e.g., minimize disability) among elderly persons and adults with arthritis. Dr. Keysor received her PhD in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2000, her MS degree in Movement Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1995, and her BS in Physical Therapy from the University of Vermont in 1988.

Nancy Latham, PT, PhD

Dr. Latham is a Research Assistant Professor at the Health and Disability Research Institute at Boston University School of Public Health where she conducts clinical research focused on evaluating innovative interventions to improve function, participation and quality of life in persons with disabilities. She completed her training in Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto and McGill University, received a PhD in the area of clinical epidemiology at the University of Auckland and completed a NIDRR post-doctoral fellowship in Health Services Research at Boston University. She has been the principal investigator or co-investigator of systematic reviews, observational cohort studies and randomized controlled trials that have focused on understanding functional changes in people with a variety of disabling conditions. She has more than 40 peer-reviewed publications in journals that include the Journals of Gerontology, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society and JAMA, and is currently on the editorial board for the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Michael P. LaValley, PhD

Dr. LaValley received a PhD in Statistics from Penn State University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Biostatistics at the Harvard University School of Public Health before coming to the Boston University School of Public Health. He is a Professor in the Department of Biostatistics, serves as statistical consultant to the Clinical Epidemiology Research and Training Unit, and is the Research Director for the ENACT Center.

Susan Lin, ScD, OTR/L

Dr. Lin is Director of Research for the American Occupational Therapy Association where she has been instrumental in quality initiatives, including involvement in the National Quality Forum and AHRQ meetings. Dr. Lin has been a strong advocate for increasing funding for occupational therapy research and has worked to increase research capacity in the field. She also serves as a member of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, is a Program Committee Member for the NIDRR Reviewer; and has served as an Editorial Board Member for the American Journal of Occupational Therapy.

Susan Murphy, ScD, OTR

Dr. Murphy is an Associate Professor in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department, a Research Associate Professor at the University of Michigan’s Institute of Gerontology, and a Research Health Science Specialist at the VA Ann Arbor Health Care System, GRECC. Beginning with her K01 award, Dr. Murphy’s research has primarily focused on developing and testing rehabilitation interventions to reduce symptoms and increase physical activity among adults with osteoarthritis. She has been particularly interested in examining the relationship between pain and fatigue symptoms and physical activity in real time using ecological momentary assessment. Using this methodology, she created a tailored approach to teaching activity pacing to people with chronic pain. Her most recent clinical trial focused on testing activity pacing as an intervention with veterans and non-veterans who have knee osteoarthritis.

Jessica Maxwell, PT, DPT, OCS

Dr. Jessica Maxwell is a Clinical Assistant Professor and Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Boston University. She is a PhD candidate in Epidemiology at the BU School of Public Health. Her research interests include orthopedic outcomes and intervention, and she has recently published papers on knee replacement outcomes. Jessica is a residency-trained manual therapist and her clinical practice focuses on spinal and lower extremity injuries and disorders.

Glenn Pransky, MD, M.Occ. Health

Dr. Pransky has directed the Center for Disability Research at the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety since 1999. His research group conducts scientific investigations on disability prevention and prognosis of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, work disability in older workers, methods to achieve safe and sustained return to work, and preventing work disability. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and a Visiting Lecturer at the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Massachusetts/Lowell. He has authored more than 120 peer-reviewed scientific publications and book chapters, and frequently presents at international scientific conferences.

Jan K. Richardson PT, PhD, OCS, FAPTA

Dr. Jan K. Richardson is Professor Emeritus, Duke University School of Medicine and Chief Medical Officer for Priority Care Solutions. She holds consultative and advisory positions with One Source Therapy, Thersys, TRS, Physical Medicine Research Institute, and was a board member of the US Bone and Joint Institute representing the American College of Rheumatology in 2012-2013. Dr. Richardson with her co-investigator, Chad Cook, pioneered early work in the establishment of valid and reliable scales for pain and disability. They investigated the dimensionality, internal consistency, and internal analysis of the NHAMES ADL instrument for patients with low-back pain and validated the NHAMES ADL scale for patients with cervical pain. Dr. Richardson just completed a chapter on “Non-Pharmacologic Interventions: Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation” for patients with rheumatic diseases and conditions and has pioneered work in establishing valid, reliable scales for pain and disability. As primary author of a well-recognized orthopedic text and having established both the third and fifth DPT Programs in the country, Dr. Richardson has made significant contributions to advancing practice, education, and research in the field.

James Rimmer, PhD

Dr. Rimmer is the Lakeshore Foundation Endowed Chair in Health Promotion and Rehabilitation Sciences in the School of Health Professions at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and Director of Research at Lakeshore Foundation. He also has adjunct appointments in Department of Nutrition Sciences and the Schools of Medicine and Engineering at UAB. His research focuses on the contextual factors (personal-environmental mediators) associated with physical inactivity and obesity in people with disabilities and the effects of rich-tailored messaging support (telephone, internet, text message, video) in providing a flexible, cost-effective delivery system for weight management and reduction of advanced physical decline in youths and adults with disabilities. He is Director of two federally funded Centers — the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability funded by the CDC, and the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Interactive Exercise Technologies and Exercise Physiology for Persons with Disabilities funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). He is also Director of the Disability Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP) on Obesity and Obesity-Related Secondary Conditions in Youths and Young Adults with Disabilities also funded by NIDRR. He was recently appointed to the Scientific Board of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition and received the 2013 paper of the year award from the American Academy of Physiatrists.

Theresa B. San Agustin, M.D.

Dr. San Agustin leads and coordinates the Congressionally-mandated Model Spinal Cord Injury and Field-Initiated Projects (FIP) Programs at the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), U.S. Department of Education.  She also serves as a Project Officer in the Traumatic Brain Injury Program, Rehabilitation Research and Training Center in Neuromuscular Diseases, Arthritis, Stroke, and Multiple Sclerosis.  Dr. San Agustin is a member of several Advisory and Federal Interagency Coordinating Committees and is well published, with manuscripts in prestigious journals, such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Burn Care and Research, and various Human Genetics and Otolaryngology Journals. She is also a chapter contributor to ‘Welner’s Guide to the Care of Women with Disabilities,’ published in 2004.

Nancy White, PT, DPT, OCS

Nancy White is the Associate Director for the Department of Practice at the American Physical Therapy Association. White served as President of the APTA Foundation from 2004-2014, where she was instrumental in increasing greater corporate and APTA membership support. These efforts enabled expansion of the Foundation’s rehabilitation research funding. Prior to joining APTA, White spent 30 years in direct clinical practice and management. She is a Board Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist and has been an active APTA member since 1979. She has a Master of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Alabama in Birmingham, and a DPT from Marymount University.

Patience White, MD, MPH

Dr. White is Co-Director of Got Transition: Center for Health Care Transition Improvement and Professor Emeritus of medicine and pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She is leading a national effort to improve the quality of care for youth and young adults as they move from pediatric to adult health care systems.  Before assuming her current position in 2014, she was the vice president for Public Health Policy and Advocacy for the Arthritis Foundation (AF).  At the AF she led the Foundation’s public health policy and advocacy initiatives to bring national attention to arthritis through promoting proven public health interventions and Federal and State policies to increase access to care for people with arthritis. Dr. White has been a consultant for the President’s Task Force for Employment of People with Disabilities, Social Security Administration, Bureau of Maternal and Child Health, HHS and chairman of the National Arthritis Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. She served as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy fellow on the Senate Finance Committee in 2000-2001 focusing on health care financing. Dr. White completed her Doctor of Medicine degree from Harvard Medical School, and received a Master’s degree in Education from George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development.

Janet Yale, LLB, MA

Janet Yale serves as President and CEO of The Arthritis Society after years of providing results-oriented leadership in private, public and not-for-profit arenas.  Janet is recognized as an innovator and leader in the not-for-profit sector. In 2009 and 2010 she served as national Chair of the TELUS Community Boards, an innovative model for community investment that emphasizes community-based guidance and input. This organization has spearheaded the dedication of more than 35 million dollars to worthy local causes. Janet is also engaged in a variety of boards in the health, chronic disease, business and cultural sectors.