HPU Physical Therapy Professor Receives More Than $220,000 in NIH Grant Funding

Dr. Lisa Zukowski, assistant professor of physical therapy at High Point University, will conduct research inside HPU’s Virtual Reality and Clinical Gait Analysis Laboratory (VRCGAL).


HIGH POINT, N.C., Aug. 20, 2020 – Dr. Lisa Zukowski, assistant professor of physical therapy in High Point University’s Congdon School of Health Sciences, was recently awarded a $221,696 subaward as part of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grant.

Zukowski will work with the primary investigator of the grant, Dr. Stephen Kritchevsky and other researchers at Wake Forest University’s School of Medicine. During this one-year research project, Zukowski and other researchers will examine how gait, visual attention and cognitive demands during complex tasks are connected to changes in Alzheimer’s disease-related pathology within the brain in older adults.

“We’re hoping this research will lead to significant new information about subtle declines in cognitive processing, visuospatial attention and smoothness of gait in those at-risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease,” says Zukowski. “This would allow for the development of earlier treatments to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and improve the quality of life for those with the disease and their caretakers.”

Zukowski will collect data in HPU’s Virtual Reality and Clinical Gait Analysis Laboratory (VRCGAL), which is housed in the Congdon School of Health Sciences. This data will then be analyzed in conjunction with some of the data that has already been collected at Wake Forest School of Medicine as part of the ongoing parent project.

“I’m very excited to start this new collaboration with researchers at Wake Forest’s School of Medicine and potentially contribute towards providing an early biomarker of risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease,” says Zukowski.

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