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Marquette physical therapy professor honored as young scholar

Sheila Schindler-Ivens, assistant professor of physical therapy at Marquette University, recently received the 2010 Way Klingler Young Scholar Award.

Schindler-Ivens, who studies the rehabilitation of stroke survivors and how the brain adapts to regain walking ability, will take a sabbatical this fall to focus her research on conducting brain scans during locomotion of people with strokes. Her work is supported by a five-year, nearly $600,000 Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health.

“We’re trying to see if there’s an actual remapping of the way the brain controls movement or if it’s just the stronger leg taking over,” explained Schindler-Ivens.

The grant pairs Schindler-Ivens with mentors Kris Ropella, chair and professor of biomedical engineering, and Brian Schmit, associate professor of biomedical engineering, who will provide support as she expands her research using functional imaging techniques. She has already used functional MRI to examine brain activity while subjects rode a bike.

Way Klingler Young Scholar Awards support promising young scholars in critical stages of their careers. The awards of up to $32,000 are intended to fund $2,000 in operating cost and to cover up to 50 percent of salary to afford the recipient a one-semester sabbatical. The other 2010 Young Scholar award recipient is Amy Van Hecke, assistant professor of psychology.

Schindler-Ivens received her bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Marquette, her master’s from Simon Fraser University and her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.

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