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Director, Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency
Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy (Emeritus)

Division of Physical Therapy
Department of Allied Health Sciences
3024 Bondurant Hall, CB# 7135
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7135
Office: (919)843-8783 Fax: (919)966-3678

Email Dr. McCulloch


  • PhD, Human Movement Science, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2004
  • MS, Physical Therapy, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1987
  • Postgraduate Fellowship, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2000
  • BS, Physical Therapy, The University of Florida, 1983

Research Interests

  • Balance and cognitive interactions in older adults and following traumatic brain injury
  • Effects of military mTBI on balance and cognitive function including dual-task performance; measurement of physiologic changes post-concussion and return to duty implications
  • Clinical measurement development and validation
  • Interventions that facilitate motor recovery following acquired brain injury
  • Education methods that incorporate online instruction

Current Funded Research

  • Leddy J (PI). Exercise Reset for Concussion: Modifying the Buffalo Concussion Protocol for Application in a Military Environment. CDMRP, Co-investigator, 20%. 1/2023-2027.
  • Register-Mihalik J (PI) Active Rehabilitation Concussion Rehabilitation for Active Duty Military Service Members. CDMRP, Co-investigator, 15%. 9/2020-8/2023.
  • Kean J (Principal) Optimizing Rehabilitation Interventions for Cognition Following Complex Traumatic Brain Injury, CDMRP proposal 9/2019-9/2023 Role: Coinvestigator 10%.
  • McCulloch KL (PI) Complex Assessment of Military Performance (CAMP), CDMRP proposal, $1,998,728. 9/2019-8/2022 30% will continue with NCE
  • Leddy J (PI) Exercise Tolerance Testing and Progressive Return to Activity Treatment-Modifying the Buffalo Concussion Assessment and Treatment Protocol for Application in a Military Environment, CDMRP, 9/1/2019-2020, 5%


  • PHYT 784 Neuromuscular I- PT Intervention
  • PHYT 785 Neuromuscular II- PT Intervention
  • PHYT 885 Advanced Neuromuscular Intervention
  • HMSC 701 Scientific Basis of Human Motion

Professional Societies

  • American Physical Therapy Association Section Membership: Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy, Brain Injury Special Interest Group; Federal Section
  • Co-leader Clinical Practice Guideline Development: PT Management of Patients Following a Concussive Event
  • American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, Brain Injury Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group, Mild TBI Task Force
  • Governor’s Brain Injury Advisory Council, State of North Carolina

Editorial Boards

  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy
  • Editorial Board, Brain Injury


  • Alpha Epsilon Lambda, Graduate Honor Society, UNC-CH, 2000
  • Outstanding Alumna, Physical Therapy, University of Florida, College of Health Professions and Public Health, 2010
  • Service to the Section Award, American Physical Therapy Association Neurology Section, 2013
  • 4th Annual Robert C. Olson Lectureship, Marquette University, 2015
  • Lucy Blair Service Award, American Physical Therapy Association, 2016
  • Carolina Women’s Leadership Council, Faculty-Graduate Student Mentorship Award, 2018
  • Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association, 2019
  • Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, 2022


  • Please see this PubMed Link for list of peer review publications
Karen McCulloch, PT, PhD, NCS