UNC-Chapel Hill alumnae Stacey Dusing, PT, PhD, PCS, received recognition in February from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) for her research focused on pediatric physical therapy, an honor reserved for those who make an outstanding contribution to the field.
Dusing won the Stephen Haley Research Award, the highest award given for research by the APTA’s Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy. She received the recognition at APTA’s annual Combined Sections Meeting held this year in San Antonio, Texas.
The award recognizes an academy member who has performed sustained and outstanding basic, clinical, and/or education research pertaining to pediatric physical therapy.
"It means a lot that other people have recognized that the work that I do is valuable and that it's contributing to science,” Dusing said.
The majority of Dusing’s research deals with identification or early detection of disability in infants, including issues in atypical postural control. Her research has contributed to a better understanding of infant physical therapy; early-intensive physical therapy can have myriad benefits for children as they grow up.
Dusing knows that her accomplishment ultimately is made possible through a team of colleagues involved in her projects and external funding for her work.
"It's a huge honor to be recognized, but I also know that I don't do this work by myself,” Dusing said. “I have a huge team of people that contribute to this research. Nobody can accomplish research in isolation.”
Dusing obtained her PhD in Human Movement Science, a joint program between the Department of Exercise and Sport Science and the Division of Physical Therapy, in 2006. She attributes much of her success to her time at UNC-CH.
"The program, both the master’s and the PhD, set me up to best understand how to do research, including asking meaningful questions and design studies to answer to them,” Dusing said.
Dusing is now an associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, the director of the VCU Motor Development Laboratory and holds an affiliate appointment as an associate professor in the VCU School of Medicine, working alongside the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU.
"My hope is that I am also helping other people to do meaningful work,” Dusing said. “The outstanding mentoring I received at UNC-CH has helped me to mentor others who will contribute to the field of physical therapy.”
The Division of Physical Therapy is housed in the UNC School of Medicine’s Department of Allied Health Sciences.
-Blake Morgan, DAHS communications assistant