Annual Neuromuscular Plasticity Symposium

NMPT Symposium Poster Session and Award Ceremony

The University of Florida Neuromuscular Plasticity Training Program and the BReathing REsearch And THErapeutics Program presents:

18th Annual Neuromuscular Plasticity Symposium
March 23-24, 2023


Time (Eastern Time Zone) Itinerary
Thursday, March 23, 2023 The Earl and Christy Powell University House (Thursday Program)
4:00 – 6:00 pm Poster Session
Friday, March 24, 2023 Emerson Alumni Hall (Friday Program)
9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Plenary Lecture 1: Andrea Behrman, PhD, PT, FAPTA, University of Louisville
10:30 – 10:45 a.m. Break
10:45 – 11:45 a.m. Plenary Lecture 2: Jane Kent, PhD, University of Massachusetts
11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Poster Awards Ceremony
12:00 – 1:15 p.m. Afternoon Intermission
1:15 – 3:15 p.m. T32 Trainee Presentations
3:15 – 3:30 p.m. Closing Remarks

Keynote Speakers


Andrea Behrman, PhD, PT, FAPTA

Talk Title: Never Underestimate the Spinal Cord

Andrea Behrman, PhD, PT, FAPTA is a Professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY. Her research focus is to develop and test therapeutic interventions promoting recovery after spinal cord injury in children and adults capitalizing on activity-dependent neuroplasticity and an understanding of the neurobiology of walking and motor control.

The interventions studied and tested uniquely target recovery of pre-morbid movement patterns or development of movement patterns in contrast to use of compensation as a solution to sensorimotor deficits post injury and achievement of functional goals. Dr. Behrman is Director of the Kosair Charities Center for Pediatric NeuroRecovery and Co-Director of the Reeve Foundation NeuroRecovery Network. Both entities are committed to fast-tracking evidence-based, activity-based therapies into clinical practice. Her work has been funded by NIH, Department of Defense, VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Service, Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, the Helmsley Charitable Trust, Foundation for Physical Therapy, and the Florida Brain and Spinal Cord
Injury Research Trust Fund.


Jane Kent, PhD

Talk Title: Muscle Fatigue and Mobility Function in Aging

Jane Kent, PhD is the Director of the Muscle Physiology Lab and the Kinesiology Department Chair at UMass Amherst. She received her B.A. and M.A. from California State University, Long Beach and her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. Dr. Kent specializes in skeletal muscle, fatigue, bioenergetics, aging, and magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Dr. Kent’s primary interest is in the area of human skeletal muscle function and fatigue. In particular, her work examines the mechanisms of fatigue, and how these vary depending upon age, gender, chronic health status, and habitual physical activity level. A related interest is an examination of the influence that fatigue has on functional capacity. She takes a state-of-the-art, integrated approach to understanding human muscle function from the cell to the organism. The main problem she is working on now is how to minimize the loss of mobility and health that occur in old age.


We invite graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to present their research in poster format. The poster session will be held from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. on March 23, 2023, at The Earl and Christy Powell University House, 2151 West University Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32603. The top graduate student and postdoctoral poster winners will be recognized and presented with a travel award during the poster awards ceremony on March 24, 2023, at 11:45 a.m. at Emerson Alumni Hall. All poster presenters are invited to join the keynote speakers and T32 preceptors for plenary lectures and T32 trainee presentations at Emerson Alumni Hall.

The deadline for abstract submissions is Sunday, February 19, 2023.

Abstract submitters will receive a reply within three business days. If you do not receive a reply within three business days, contact Chyna Miller at 352-273-6113 or

All individuals receiving a notice of abstract acceptance are invited to present their poster during the March 23, 2023, poster session. There is no required poster size, but the poster area of the boards is 4 ft. 10 in. tall x 5 ft. 10 in. wide. Posters generally range in size from 36 – 43 in. long by 53 – 63 in. wide.

Abstract and posters are judged based on these categories, which are broadly defined as follows:

  1. Impact:  What potential does this research described have to impact and advance knowledge of the chosen field of research?
  2. Innovation:  How creative is the hypothesis put forward? How innovative is the approach used to address the hypothesis?
  3. Writing:  Well-written in terms of clarity, rationale, hypothesis stated, methods described, conclusions and implications of the findings. Were a variety of outcome measures used?
  4. Layout: Is the poster legible? Do the figures stand alone and complement the text?
  5. Completeness: Is this the presenters work? Is this a pilot study, preliminary data or a relatively complete study?
  6. Presentation: Can the presenter explain the study succinctly and clearly? Can the presenter effectively answer questions when asked? Is significance stated clearly in the presentation (poster and oral)?

Poster Submission: You will present your physical poster during the designated poster session on Thursday, March 23, 2023, from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at The Earl and Christy Powell University House. Please follow the instructions below to ensure that your submission is complete.

Poster Title & Abstract: Include the project title and abstract that you previously submitted to the UF Department of Physical Therapy. If you need a copy of your submitted abstract, email Please note when including your abstract, certain formatting (e.g. bold, italics, etc.) may not be legible – double check your abstract and edit formatting where necessary.

Faculty Mentor: Please include the full name and degree of your mentor.

Co-Authors: List all authors, including yourself and your mentor.

Post-submission: Your abstract submission is final. You must bring all physical poster presentation materials to the Powell University House on March 23, 2023, no later than 3:00 p.m. After 3:00 pm, poster numbers and judging groups will be assigned.


Symposium Scholars

Each year, symposium scholars are selected from the T32 rehabilitation consortium of partner institutions and invited to present their posters at the Neuromuscular Plasticity Training Symposium. More information about this year’s symposium scholars will be provided soon.

CEU Credit

One Physical Therapy CEU is offered per lecture for a total of two (2) credit hours. Please look for the sign-in sheet at the registration table to document your attendance and receive PT CEU credit.

No RSVP is needed and there is no cost for the plenary lectures and the T32 presentations. Please contact Chyna Miller ( with any inquiries.

We look forward to your participation,
Dr. David Fuller and the NMPT Program Symposium Committee: Drs. Krista Vandenborne, Andy Judge, and Gordon Mitchell

Sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Training in Rehabilitation and Neuromuscular Plasticity T32 HD043730 Training Grant, Breathing Research and Therapeutics T32 HL134621 Training Grant, the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions, and the Department of Physical Therapy.