Vicki Mercer, PT, PhD

Vicki Mercer, PT, PhD

Division of Physical Therapy
Department of Allied Health Sciences
3022 Bondurant Hall, CB# 7135
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7135
OFFICE: (919)843-8642 FAX: (919)966-3678

Email address:


Research Background & Interests

Postural control in older adults and those with neurological disorders, especially stroke

Motor control and motor learning

Neuromuscular rehabilitation 


Development of a Hamstrings Muscle Stretching Device for Older Adults and Individuals with Neurological Disorders,
UNC/NCSU Rehabilitation Engineering Center. (1/1/2014 – 12/31/2014)

Role: Co-Principal Investigator


PhD, Movement Science, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, 1993

MS, Physical Therapy, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, NC, 1988, 

BS, Physical Therapy, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, 1980


PHYT 784 Neuromuscular Assessment and Treatment I

PHYT 785 Neuromuscular Assessment and Treatment II

PHYT 822 Advanced Patient Management

HMSC 701 The Scientific Basis of Human Motion

HMSC 743 Topics in Motor Control and Motor Learning

DPT Service Learning Trip (Alligator, NC)

Selected Publications

Please see this PubMed Link for peer reviewed publications

Recent Refereed Publications
Doré AL, Golightly YM, Mercer VS, Shi XA, Renner JB, Jordan JM, Nelson AE. Lower limb osteoarthritis and the risk of falls in a community-based longitudinal study of adults with and without osteoarthritis. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken).2014 Oct 20.  [Epub ahead of print]   PMID: 25331686

Mercer VS, Freburger JK, Yin Z, Preisser JS. Recovery of paretic lower extremity loading ability and physical function in the first six months after stroke. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2014 Aug;95(8):1547-55.e4.     PMC4112143

Mielenz TJ, Kubiak-Rizzone KL, Alvarez KJ, Hlavacek PR, Freburger JK, Giuliani C, Mercer VS, Callahan LF. Association of self-efficacy and outcome expectations with physical activity in adults with arthritis. Arthritis. 2013;2013:621396.

Wutzke CJ, Mercer VS, Lewek MD. Influence of lower extremity sensory function on locomotor adaptation following stroke: a review. Top Stroke Rehabil. 2013 May-Jun;20(3):233-40.    PMID: 23841971

Dai B, Leigh S, Li H, Mercer VS, Yu B. The relationships between technique variability and performance in discus throwing. J Sports Sci. 2013;31(2):219-28.    PMID: 23051062.

Gross MT, Mercer VS, Lin FC. Effects of foot orthoses on balance in older adults. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2012 Jul;42(7):649-57.     PMID: 22282317.

Professional Societies

American Heart Association Stroke Council 

International Society for Posture and Gait Research

American Physical Therapy Association
     Section memberships: Neurology and Geriatric 

North Carolina Physical Therapy Association 


Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars Program, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Class V, 2014 – 2016.

Outstanding County Program Award to McDowell County for Community Health and Mobility Partnership (CHAMP), North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, 2010