• Additional Titles:Associate Professor, BU School of Medicine
    Director, Motor Development Laboratory
  • Education:BS in Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, 1997
    MS in Occupational Therapy, Tufts University, 1999
    MA in Psychology, New York University, 2006
    PhD in Psychology, New York University, 2009
  • Website or Lab: Motor Development Lab
  • Phone:617-353-7513

Scholarly, Research, and/or Practice Interests

  • Dr. Gill investigates how individuals’ bodies and environmental demands influence walking and motor functioning across the lifespan. She uses a variety of methods to examine how children and adults modify their walking patterns to navigate through the environment. She is particularly interested in understanding how childhood and adult obesity affect the ability to adapt to change. She is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association, the Obesity Society, the Society for Research in Child Development, the International Society of Developmental Psychobiology, and the American Diabetes Association.
  • Dr. Gill directs the Motor Development Laboratory where she investigates how people’s bodies and environmental demands influence walking and motor functioning across the lifespan. Dr. Gill uses a variety of methods to examine how children and adults modify their walking patterns to navigate through the environment: three-dimensional motion capture, computerized video coding, wearable motion sensor technology, portable spatio-temporal gait systems, and digital pressure mats. Her long-term goals are to:
    • develop novel systems approaches to optimize health outcomes in early childhood
    • design innovative interventions that minimize fall risks associated with childhood and adult obesity
    • create new methods to detect fall risks linked with childhood and adult obesity

Courses Taught

Entry-level OTD courses

PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences courses

Post-professional distance education OTD courses

Selected Publications

  • Kim, D. & Gill, S. V. (2020). Changes in center of pressure velocities during obstacle crossing one year after bariatric surgery. Gait & Posture, 76: 377-381.
  • Gill, S. V., Yang, Z., & Hung, Y. C. (2017). Effects of singular and dual task constraints on motor skill variability in childhood. Gait & Posture, 53: 121-126
  • Gill, S. V., Hicks, G., Zhang, Y., Niu, J, Apovian, C. M., & White, D. K. (2017). The association of waist circumference with community walking ability in knee osteoarthritis: The osteoarthritis initiative. Osteoarthritis & Cartilage, 25: 60-66
  • Gill, S. V., Walsh, M. K., Pratt, J. A., Toosizadeh, N., Najafi, B., & Travison, T. G. (2016). Changes in spatio-temporal gait patterns during flat ground walking and obstacle crossing one year after bariatric surgery. Surgery for Obesity and Other Related Diseases, 12, 1080-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.soard.2016.03.029
  • Gill, S. V. (2015). Walking to the beat of their own drum: How children and adults meet task constraints. PLoS One, 10, e0127894.
  • Gill, S. V., Vessali, M.*, Pratt, J. A., Watts*, S., Pratt, J. S., Raghavan, P., & DeSilva, J. M. (2015). The importance of interdisciplinary research training and community dissemination. Clinical and Translational Science, 8, 611-14. 
  • Gill, S. V. (2015). The impact of weight classification on safety: Timing steps to adapt to external constraints. Journal of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interaction, 15, 103-8
  • Ben-Sasson & Gill, S. V. (2014). Motor and language abilities from early to late toddlerhood: Using formalized assessments to capture continuity and discontinuity in development. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 35, 1425-32
  • Cole, W. G.*, Gill, S. V., Vereijken, B., & Adolph, K. E. (2014). Coping with asymmetry: How infants and adults walk with one elongated leg. Infant Behavior & Development 37, 305-314.
  • Forhan, M. & Gill, S. V. (2013). Obesity, functional mobility, and quality of life. Best Practice and Research: Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Special issue on complications of obesity, 27, 129-137. 

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