People

  • Beth Fisher, PhD, PT
    Professor of Clinical Physical Therapy
    University of Southern California
    Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy

    During her career as a clinician and rehabilitation specialist, it became clear to Dr. Fisher that her greatest ambition was to develop therapeutic interventions that would maximize neural and behavioral recovery in individuals suffering from pathological conditions affecting the nervous system. As a clinician, she became aware of the tremendous potential her patients had to recover from catastrophic illness and injury, and upon completion of her doctoral research at the University of Southern California, she has continued to focus her research in this subject.

    The USC Phillips-Fisher Center is a vision she has longed to fulfill, bringing together world-class researchers and physical therapists for collaborative clinical trials. Through a generous donation from her husband, Roger Phillips, Dr. Fisher has been able to develop the Center and lay the foundation for the future of research in brain repair and rehabilitation.

    Education:
    University of Southern California
    Los Angeles, CA
    Post-doctoral Fellow - Division of Neurology

    University of Southern California
    Los Angeles, CA
    Doctor of Philosophy - Biokinesiology

    American Physical Therapy Association
    Certificate - Neurologic Clinical Specialist

    University of Southern California
    Los Angeles, CA
    Master of Science - Physical Therapy


    Michael Jakowec, PhD
    Assistant Professor of Research Neurology and Cell and Neurobiology
    University of Southern California
    KeckSchool of Medicine

    The primary focus of Dr. Jakowec’s research is to better understand the molecular mechanisms involved in brain repair (neuroplasticity) that occur after disease or injury. Dr. Jakowec specifically studies the basal ganglia – the region of the brain responsible for motor behavior. Currently, his research explores the interactions between the neurotransmitter systems involving dopamine and glutamate and finding ways to manipulate them to enhance motor behavior. To achieve this goal models of development and neurotoxic injury are being used to investigate intrinsic neuroplasticity and to find means to enhance recovery.

    Education:
    University of Southern California
    Los Angeles, CA
    PhD

    University of California, Davis
    Davis, CA
    Master of Science

    University of Toronto
    Toronto, Canada
    Bachelor of Science

    Fellowships:
    Yale University
    Division of Neurology

    Columbia University
    Division of Neurology


    Giselle M. Petzinger, MD
    Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology
    University of Southern California
    KeckSchool of Medicine

    Dr. Petzinger divides her time between the clinical care of patients with Parkinson’s disease and related disorders and with research in the laboratory. The primary focus of Dr. Petzinger’s research is to better understand how to promote the brain to repair itself after injury and then to translate these findings into new therapeutic treatments for patients. Ongoing studies in the laboratory involve understanding the role the environment plays in influencing the pathways in brain repair (neuroplasticity). Neuroplasticity can be influenced by behavioral modifications such as exercise and can be enhanced through pharmacological treatment with specific drugs. In collaboration with Dr. Beth Fisher, laboratory findings have proven to effective for brain repair in animal models of Parkinson’s disease have translated into new clinical trials. Current and ongoing studies in patients involved in both intensive treadmill exercise and optimized drug treatment lead to improved motor skills and may influence the time course of Parkinson’s disease progression.

    Education:
    Unversity of Southern California
    Los Angeles, CA
    Medical Doctor

    Internship:
    LAC+USC Medical Center
    Los Angeles, CA

    Residency:
    Yale University - School of Medicine

    Fellowships:
    Yale University - School of Medicine
    New Haven, CT

    Columbia University
    New York, NY

    Board Certification:
    American Board of Psychiatry/Neurology


    James Gordon, EdD, PT, FAPTA
    Professor and Chair
    University of Southern California
    Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy

    Dr. Gordon is Chair of the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy. His research is focused on neural control of arm movements, especially the roles of proprioceptive information in control of reaching movements. His current research is focused on the neuroprotective effects of exercise in Parkinson's disease. Dr. Gordon’s primary teaching has been in the neurosciences, motor learning and motor control, and the application of these areas to neurologic physical therapy. He has also taught courses in professional practice and documentation in physical therapy.

    Education:
    Columbia University
    New York, NY
    Postdoctoral Fellow – Neuroscience

    Teachers College - Columbia University
    New York, NY
    Educational Doctor - Movement Science

    Teachers College - Columbia University
    New York, NY
    Educational Masters - Movement Science

    Teachers College - Columbia University
    New York, NY
    Master of Arts - Movement Science

    State University, New York - Downstate Medical Center
    Brooklyn, NY
    Bachelor of Arts - Physical Therapy


    Helena C. Chui, MD
    Chair, Division of Neurology
    Raymond and Betty McCarron Chair in Neurology
    Professor of Neurology and Gerontology
    University of Southern California
    KeckSchool of Medicine

    Dr. Chui received her medical degree at Johns Hopkins University (1977) and completed her residency in neurology and fellowship in behavioral neurology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (1981). She is currently the McCarron Professor and Chair of Neurology at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. Dr. Chui's research focuses on brain-behavior correlations in dementia. Her publications have examined clinical heterogeneity, clinical diagnosis, natural history, and clinical-imaging-pathological correlations in dementia due to Alzheimer and cerebrovascular disease. Dr. Chui is the principal investigator for a 13 year, federally-funded, multi-center, program project to study ischemic vascular dementia and its interactions with Alzheimer disease (P01 AG12435). She is also the Director of the federally-funded Alzheimer Disease Research Center (ADRC) at USC. (P50 AG05142).

    Education:
    Johns Hopkins - School of Medicine
    Medical Doctor

    Internship:
    University of Iowa - Hospitals and Clinics
    Iowa City, IA

    Residency:
    University of Iowa - Hospitals and Clinics
    Iowa City, IA

    Fellowship:
    University of Iowa - Hospitals and Clinics
    Iowa City, IA

    Board Certification:
    Neurology


    George Salem, PhD
    Associate Professor
    University of Southern California
    Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy

    Dr. Salem is an Associate Professor in the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy and Co-Director of the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Research Laboratory (MBRL). Within MBRL, he directs the Exercise and Aging Biomechanics research program. This program recognizes the growing importance of exercise in improving health and life-quality across the lifespan. Investigations are designed to: 1) quantify the musculoskeletal loading and neuromuscular recruitment patterns associated with functional activities and exercise; and 2) examine the influence of exercise prescription on muscle dynamics, tissue adaptation, neural control, injury prevention and functional performance. Study participants include children, older adults, elite athletes, patients with Parkinson’s disease, persons with hyperkyphosis, and patients following ACL reconstruction.

    Dr. Salem is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, and a member of the American Society of Biomechanics, the International Society of Biomechanics, and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He instructs courses in anatomy, biomechanics, connective-tissue adaptation, and resistance-exercise science.

    Education:
    University of California, Los Angeles
    Division of Kinesiology
    Ph.D. Biomechanics 1991

    University of California, Los Angeles
    Division of Kinesiology
    M.S Biomechanics 1988

    University of California, Davis
    Division of Psychology
    B.S. Physiological Psychology 1983