Clinical Research Mentor
Department of Physical Therapy
College of Public Health and Health Professions
Carolynn Patten, PT, PhD, FAPTA, is a Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and has also served as a Research Scientist at the VA BRRC since 2007. Her research focuses on understanding neurophysiological and biomechanical mechanisms contributing to weakness in age-related and neurological disorders. This problem has broad, multi-factorial implications affecting over 5.2 million persons in the U.S. each year who suffer from neurological disorders including stroke, spinal cord injury, and multiple sclerosis that lead to chronic disability. Accordingly, this line of inquiry holds significant potential to impact the effectiveness and efficiency of neurorehabilitation. Dr. Patten uses a combination of techniques from neurophysiology, clinical electrophysiology, human performance, and functional imaging to perform studies in humans. As a result, her research crosses multiple disciplines including motor control, biomechanics, physiology, clinical medicine and rehabilitation, but has the common goal of understanding the neural regulation of muscle force and its role in movement control. Dr. Patten’s research is primarily funded by grants from the VA Rehabilitation Research and Development. She mentored trainee Virginia Little.