Carolynn Patten receives APTA’s highest honor

Dr. Carolynn Patten
Dr. Carolynn Patten

Carolynn Patten, Ph.D., P.T., an associate professor in the PHHP department of physical therapy, has been named a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association, the association’s highest honor.

She will be recognized at a ceremony in June in Nashville during the APTA’s NEXT 2016 Conference and Exposition.

“This is a very prestigious honor and we are incredibly proud of Dr. Patten. As a scientist, educator and advocate, she has had a tremendous impact on the field of physical therapy,” said Krista Vandenborne, Ph.D., P.T., a professor and chair of the PHHP department of physical therapy.

An internationally recognized leader in the science of human motor neurophysiology, neuromechanics and neurorehabilitation, Patten is a senior investigator with the Veterans Affairs Brain Rehabilitation Research Center where she holds Research Career Scientist status.

“Dr. Patten strives to advance our knowledge about movement control of individuals with neurological dysfunction by using innovative and well-grounded research methods,” said nominator Richard Shields, Ph.D., P.T., a professor and chair of the department of physical therapy and rehabilitation science at the University of Iowa. “The hypotheses she has pursued through her research career are novel and represent some of the most important contributions to the field of stroke rehabilitation Dr. Patten is a dedicated scientist, extraordinary teacher and committed colleague. I am so pleased that she is being honored for all that she has done for our great profession. She is truly deserving of this wonderful honor.”

Patten’s research has been continuously funded for more than 20 years by agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Foundation for Physical Therapy, the National Science Foundation, the American Heart Association and the Department of Defense. Current projects include a study to predict patients’ capacity for walking recovery after stroke; investigations of novel, physiologically based rehabilitation approaches; utility of technologies such as non-invasive brain stimulation and robotics; and the development of customized therapeutic interventions using computational modeling. Last year she was one of 34 UF scientists recognized for a distinguished record of research as a UF Research Foundation Professor for 2015-2018.

Patten has mentored students at the undergraduate and graduate levels and instructs students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science Ph.D. programs.

“I am deeply honored, and humbled, to be named a Catherine Worthingham Fellow,” Patten said. “I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to colleagues who organized and mentors who advanced my nomination. The Worthingham Fellows are the leaders, mentors and role models who have inspired my career; my next challenge is to live up to these ideals for the next generations of our profession.”