Deborah Givens, PT, PhD, DPT

Debby Givens, PT, PhD, DPT

Director and Professor
Division of Physical Therapy
Department of Allied Health Sciences
3032 Bondurant Hall, CB# 7135
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7135
OFFICE: (919)843-8660 FAX: (919)966-3678

For DPT Admissions: 

Email address:


Research Background
& Interests

Neuromuscular control and painful musculoskeletal conditions

Efficacy of interventions for low back pain

Efficacy of interventions for knee or hip osteoarthritis

Current Funded Research

Corticospinal Excitability and Rehabilitation in Knee Osteoarthritis
State of Nebraska LB692, New Initiatives Grant (7/2013 - 6/2015)
Role: Principal Investigator (2013-2014), Co-PI with Terry Grindstaff (2015)

Motor and Sensory Deficits following Partial Meniscectomy
Health Futures Foundation (7/2013 - 6/2015)
Role: Co-Investigator, PI: Terry Grindstaff T (Creighton University)

MRI, Acquisition of ETG-4000 24 Channel Optical Topography System for Research, Training, and Outreach Activities National Science Foundation (7/2012 - 6/2015)
Role: Co-Investigator, PI: Nick Stergiou (University of Nebraska Omaha)


PhD, Exercise Science, The University of Iowa, 1997

DPT, MGH Institute of Health Professions, 2005

MS, Physical Therapy, MGH Institute of Health Professions, 1990

BS, Physical Therapy, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1982 


Motor control and motor learning

Evidence based practice

Evaluation and interventions for musculoskeletal conditions involving the spine

Selected Publications

Please see this PubMed Link for list of peer review publications

Most Recent Refereed Papers
Briggs MS, Givens DL, Best TM, Chaudhari AM (2013). Lumbopelvic neuromuscular training and injury rehabilitation: a systematic review. Clin J Sport Med. 23(3):160-171.  PMID:  23507794.

Briggs MS, Givens DL, Schmidt L, Taylor CA. (2013). The relationship of C-Reactive Protein and obesity to the prevalence and likelihood of reporting low back pain. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 94(4):745-52.      PMID:  23187041

Navalgund A, Briggs MS, Buford JA, Givens DL. (2013) Trunk muscle reflex amplitudes increased in patients with subacute, recurrent LBP treated with a 10-week stabilization exercise program. Motor Control. 17(1), 1-17.          PMC: 3881973  

Jamison ST, McNeilan RJ, Young GS, Givens DL, Best TM, Chaudhari AMW. (2012). Randomized controlled trial of the effects of a trunk stabilization program on trunk control and knee loading. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 44(10):1924-1934.      PMID: 22525777

Herbert WS, Heiss DG, Basso DM. (2008) Influence of feedback schedule in motor performance and learning of a lumbar multifidus task using rehabilitative ultrasound imaging: A randomized clinical trial. Physical Therapy. 2008, 88(2):261-269.        PMID: 18042655 

Book Chapter
Kloos AD, Givens DL. Exercise for Impaired Balance. In Kisner C, Colby LA. Therapeutic Exercise: Foundations and Techniques, 6th ed. F.A. Davis, Philadelphia, PA. 2012, pp 260-289

Givens Heiss D (2008). Dynamic Lumbar Stability, In: Movements Disorders and Neuromuscular Interventions for the Trunk and Extremities, APTA Orthopedic Section Independent Study Course 18.2.4, July 2008. pp 1-23 (Editor Reviewed) 

Professional Societies

American Physical Therapy Association
     Section memberships: Orthopaedics, Research, Education

American Society for Biomechanics

American Council of Academic Physical Therapy
      Consortium Membership: Research Intensive Programs in Physical Therapy


Bette Ann Harris ’83 Distinguished Alumni Award, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, MA, 2009

Faculty Service Award, School of Allied Medical Professions, The Ohio State University, 2003

Faculty Teaching Award, School of Allied Medical Professions, The Ohio State University, 2003

Faculty Research Award, School of Allied Medical Professions, The Ohio State University, 2002