Our core faculty is comprised of 16 highly experienced individuals whose primary professional commitment is to the DPT program. All hold doctoral degrees; three are recognized as orthopedic clinical specialists by the American Board of PT Specialties and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA); two have received research awards; one received the Lindback Award for Teaching Excellence and was awarded the Leadership in Education Award by the APTA; and one was honored with the Arnold P. Gold Award for Humanism in Medicine, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University based on her clinical work, which emphasized the “humanistic” approach to health care delivery. One faculty member is a fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association, the highest honor the Association bestows.

The faculty has published in peer-review journals, both internal and external to the profession. They have also authored book chapters and are sought-after as speakers at state and national meetings for their content expertise.

Core faculty has direct responsibility for teaching, student advising, and supervision of independent student learning and critical exploration. You can find more specific information on the core faculty on each individual faculty member’s page.

  • Laurel Daniels Abbruzzese, PT, EdD, MS

    Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (Physical Therapy) at CUIMC

    Dr. Laurel Daniels Abbruzzese joined the Columbia Program in Physical Therapy faculty in July 2007. She currently teaches Kinesiology & Biomechanics II, Clinical Geriatrics, Professional Leadership and Practice I & II, and coordinates the Foot/Ankle and Performing Arts electives. Dr. Abbruzzese is a Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults, and a Fellow in the National Academies of Practice. Dr. Abbruzzese’s active research projects focus on the health of LGBT older adults, adolescent dancers, Cri du Chat Syndrome, and narrative medicine approaches to obesity education.

  • Clare Bassile, PT, EdD

    Associate Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (Physical Therapy) at CUIMC

    Dr. Bassile's areas of professional expertise include adult neurorehabilitation with emphasis on individuals with stroke and demyelinating diseases. Her current research projects evaluate the use of standardized outcome measures along with other factors during acute stroke hospitalization to influence discharge destination and length of stay. She recently completed an investigation of the barriers to mental health in homebound adults with her community partner at the YM/WHA of Washington Heights & Inwood. This project was funded by the Community Based Participatory Research Program at Columbia University's Irving Center for Clinical & Translational Studies. For her contributions to the professional education and research literature please see publications. Additionally, she is a consultant and clinician at the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, New York Presbyterian Hospital.

    Headshot of Clare Basille.
  • Colleen M. Brough, PT, DPT, MS, OCS

    Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (Physical Therapy) at CUIMC

    Dr. Colleen Brough is the Director of Columbia RunLab, a comprehensive running analysis experience for Olympic, elite, competitive, and recreational runners. Dr. Brough also serves as the Director of Clinical Education in the CUDPT program, where she coordinates student clinical placements.

    Dr. Brough is a board-certified clinical specialist in orthopedic physical therapy and a Diplomate of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties with over 15 years of patient care and teaching experience. Valuing service, she is a member of the APTA LGBT Equity Task Force, has done physical therapy volunteer work in China, and has partnered with national programs like the Wounded Warrior Project, Girls On The Run, and the NYRR Young Runners group.

    An accomplished speaker, Dr. Brough has lectured internationally on Running Medicine, Orthopedics, Spine and Post-Surgical Rehabilitation at the Olympic Training Center in Qing Dao, China, and frequently presents at national conferences and post-professional continuing medical education courses in Sports Medicine.

    As an avid runner, Dr. Brough is an active member of the LGBT running team, Front Runners New York and of New York Road Runners. Dr. Brough's areas of professional expertise include Orthopedics, Running Athletes, Spine and Manual Therapy, and Clinical Education.

    Dr. Colleen Brough
  • Cynthia Chiarello, PT, PhD, MS

    Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (Physical Therapy) at CUIMC

    Dr. Cynthia M. Chiarello joined the Program in Physical Therapy at Columbia University in July, 1989, contributing substantial knowledge and experience as a clinician, researcher, and academician. She served the program as Associate Director from July 2005 through the Spring of 2012. In 2016 Dr. Chiarello became the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy, the official peer-reviewed publication of the Section on Women’s Health of the American Physical Therapy Association. She has established collaborations with colleagues both in clinical and academic settings while mentoring students in several aspects of research.

    Dr. Chiarello's areas of expertise include kinesiology and biomechanics, orthopedic conditions specific to women and prepubescent females, and orthopedics of the spine.

  • Wing Fu, PT, PhD, MA

    Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (Physical Therapy) at CUIMC

    Dr. Fu received her entry-level Physical Therapy education from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, her Master’s degree from New York University and her Doctoral degree in Philosophy from Nova Southeastern University. She completed the Medical Educator Fellowship Program, which is offered by the International Association of Medical Science Educators. Dr. Fu worked in academia for 14 years prior to joining the physical therapy faculty at Columbia University.

    She also has years of clinical experience in multiple settings including acute care, rehabilitation, outpatient, preschool, and home care serving adult and pediatric patient populations. Dr. Fu is particularly interested in educational research. While clinical reasoning is her primary research area, other research interests include student assessment as well as teaching and learning.

    Dr. Fu presented research studies at national and international conferences and provided educational sessions at local meetings. She is actively involved in serving the physical therapist education community. She has been appointed to the Academy of Physical Therapy Education Research Committee since January 2017. Within the Clinical Reasoning Curricula and Assessment Consortium of the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy, she currently chairs the Teaching Compendium task force and is a member of the Competencies task force. She also served as a National Licensing Examination item writer for the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

    Headshot of Wing Fu
  • Michael Johnson, MPT, DsC, OCS, SCS

    Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (Physical Therapy) at CUIMC

    Originally from Oregon, Dr. Johnson is a veteran of the United States Army, serving as a physical therapist for 21 years, retiring in July of 2015. He is a graduate of the Physical Therapy Program at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California. He earned his Doctorate of Science in Sports Physical Therapy from Baylor University upon completion of the Army/Baylor Clinical Sports Residency at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York.

    Dr. Johnson worked in a variety of clinical assignments in the Army and deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on 4 different occasions. He holds dual PT licenses in New York and Oregon and is certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists for orthopedics (2001) and sports (2006).

    He continues to practice at the Cadet Physical Therapy Clinic at the United States Military Academy, where he was a faculty member and director of the Army/Baylor Sports Clinical Residency. He has particular interests in adolescent athletes and injury prevention, diagnostic imaging and residency/fellowship programs.

    His professional expertise includes direct access/military medicine, orthopedics/sports rehab, diagnostic imaging, and adolescent sports/injury prevention.

    Headshot of Michael Johnson
  • Stacy Kinirons, PT, PhD, MPH

    Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (Physical Therapy) at CUIMC

    Dr. Kinirons earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Physical Therapy from Ithaca College, a Master’s of Public Health from New York University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Anatomy from Virginia Commonwealth University. She joined Columbia University’s Program in Physical Therapy faculty in 2004. Dr. Kinirons current teaching responsibilities include Gross Anatomy, Neuroscience, Teaching Practicum Lecture, Teaching Practicum Lab, and Teaching Practicum Small Group. A New York State licensed physical therapist since 1993, Dr. Kinirons incorporates her clinical experiences into her basic science courses. Her current research focuses on gross anatomy education. Dr. Kinirons was awarded the Program in Physical Therapy Excellence in Teaching Award in 2017 and 2018.

    Headshot of Stacy Kinirons
  • Dr. Debra Krasinski, PT, PhD

    Associate Professor of Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine (Physical Therapy) at CUIMC, Assistant Dean, Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, Director, Program in Physical Therapy

    Dr. Krasinski's area of specialization is pediatric physical therapy. Her areas of professional expertise include rehabilitation of infants, children and young adults with neuromuscular involvement; special emphasis on treating children with cerebral palsy, developmental coordination disorders and brain injury; reliability and validity of pediatric tests and measurements. She serves as liaison to the New York City Department of Education.

    Debra Krasinski headshot
  • Jacqueline Montes, PT, EdD, NCS

    Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (Physical Therapy) at CUIMC

    Jacqueline Montes, PT, EdD, NCS obtained her bachelor's degree and physical therapy certification at Hunter College in New York. She is a licensed physical therapist since 1994 and certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialities as a neurological clinical specialist since 2005. She also received an MA and EdD in Motor Learning and Motor Control from Columbia University's Teachers College. Dr. Montes has worked at the Columbia University Medical Center her entire career, first joining the Physical Therapy Department rotating through specialties such as Pulmonary, Orthopedics and Wheelchair Clinic. In 1997 her focus and specialization became the care of acute neurological and neurosurgical patients. In 2003, Dr. Montes joined the multidisciplinary team at the Eleanor and Lou Gehrig MDA ALS Research Center at Columbia University. Her work included evaluating and treating patients with motor neuron disease, as well as coordinating their care at home, rehabilitative services, durable medical equipment, and mobility aids.

    As a member of a prominent multidisciplinary group of experienced clinical researchers at Columbia University’s SMA Clinical Research Center and the Pediatric Neuromuscular Clinical Research Network (PNCRN) she has had the opportunity to play a role in the development and execution of numerous clinical research studies. She has a particular interest in neuromuscular conditions such as spinal muscular atrophy where her research has been focused. Dr. Montes’ research training includes development of outcome measures, kinematic evaluation of movement, and electromyography to describe weakness and physiologic fatigue during walking. She has also had the opportunity to play a key role in a randomized, controlled, clinical trial of exercise in patients with SMA. Her goals now are focused on a better understanding of disease mechanisms underlying weakness, fatigue and motor impairments, and salutary responsiveness to exercise in SMA and other genetically determined neuromuscular conditions.

    Dr. Jacqueline Montes
  • Margaret E. O'Neil, PT, PhD, MPH

    Professor, Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (Physical Therapy) at CUIMC

    Margaret E. (Maggie) O’Neil, PT, PhD, MPH earned her bachelor’s degree (BS) in biology from Providence College, Providence, RI; a master’s degree (MS) in physical therapy from Duke University; a master’s degree in public health (MPH) in maternal and child health policy from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a PhD in physical therapy with a concentration in pediatric rehabilitation from Drexel University (formerly MCH Hahnemann University) in Philadelphia, PA.  She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Franciscan Children’s Hospital and Boston University under the mentorship of Dr. Stephen M. Haley.   

    A pediatric physical therapist since 1985, Dr. O’Neil worked for over 11 years in a variety of pediatric settings (hospital, outpatient clinic, school-based, home-based and public health programs). She then returned to academia to earn advanced degrees (MPH and PhD) and receive post-doctoral training.  Before coming to Columbia, Dr. O’Neil was a faculty member at Drexel University.  Her teaching and content expertise areas are: research; health policy and services in rehabilitation; pediatric physical therapy; and pediatric health promotion, wellness and fitness. 

    Dr. O’Neil is an active researcher.  She has received multiple foundation grants and NIH grants.  She has over 40 peer reviewed publications, several book chapters and multiple peer reviewed and invited presentations.  Dr. O’Neil’s primary area of research is objective physical activity measures in children and youth with chronic conditions (i.e., obesity) and physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy [CP] and autism.  She conducts research on the effectiveness of physical therapy interventions to promote fitness, functional mobility and physical activity participation for these children. Dr. O’Neil works on an interdisciplinary team with computer and biomedical engineers and game designers to design and test the effectiveness of customized active video games to promote physical activity, functional mobility and fitness in youth with CP.   

    Her service involvement spans national and international levels.  Dr. O’Neil mentors clinical researchers and junior faculty; is past chair and a current member of the research committee for the APTA, a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy; a member of the Foundation for Physical Therapy’s Scientific Review Committee, a manuscript reviewer for several physical therapy and public health journals and serves on the editorial board for Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics.  Additionally, she has served on panels for the National Physical Activity Plan. 

    She teaches PT Management of Pediatric Conditions and the Advanced Seminar in Pediatrics with Dr. Lisa Yoon.

    When Dr. O’Neil is not working, she enjoys yoga, reading, movies and going to the theater.

    Portrait of Dr. O'Neil
  • Ashwini Rao, OTR, EdD

    Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (Physical Therapy) at CUIMC

    Ashwini K. Rao. OTR, EdD, FAOTA completed his Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy and post-baccalaureate Diploma in Rehabilitation in India; a Master’s degree (MA) in Occupational Therapy from New York University, and doctoral (EdD) degree in Movement Sciences from Teachers College Columbia University. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Motor Control at Teachers College, Columbia University and a fellowship in Computational Motor Control at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Rao has been on faculty since 2001.

    Dr. Rao has practiced Occupational Therapy since 1991 in neurological disorders in pediatrics (sub-acute hospital and pre-school) and adults (outpatient and sub-acute hospital based setting). He currently practices at two specialty centers at Columbia: Huntington’s disease Center of Excellence and Center of Excellence in Alzheimer’s Disease. Dr. Rao teaches Evidence Based Practice I and II, Neuroscience, and Advanced Topics in Neurorehabilitation. In addition, he teaches in the Neuroscience course to medical students and has mentored post-professional doctoral students in Movement Sciences at Teachers College.

    Dr. Rao maintains an active research program in understanding motor dysfunction in aging and degenerative disorders. He currently receives funding from the National Science Foundation (to test an integrated robotic and wearable system to enhance mobility and social connectedness), from New York State department of health (provision of clinical and educational service to underserved populations with Alzheimer’s disease), and from the National Center for advancing Translational Science (to examine mechanisms underlying energy expenditure and weight loss in Huntington disease). He has received funding from the National Institute of Health, foundations and industry to examine motor dysfunction in Huntington disease, Parkinson disease, and Essential tremor. Dr. Rao has over 50 publications related to motor dysfunction in Huntington disease, Essential tremor, Parkinson disease, and aging), several book chapters and invited presentations at national and international conferences. He has contributed to textbooks in Neurology (Chapter on gait disorders in Merritt’s Neurology; Chapter on Gait Failure in On-Call Neurology), and Rehabilitation (chapter on motor control interventions in Stroke Rehabilitation).

    Dr. Rao provides service at the national and international level as a grant reviewer (for National Science Foundation and the Irving Institute), Health professionals task force member for the International Movement Disorders Society, Physiotherapy working group member for the European Huntington disease network and Huntington Study Group. Given his inter-disciplinary contribution to teaching, scholarship and service, he was elected Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association in 2012.

    Ashwini Rao
  • Martha Sliwinski, PT, PhD

    Associate Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (Physical Therapy) at CUIMC

    I have been a Physical Therapist for 39 years and my academic career in teaching in a fulltime position for 25 years. Prior to beginning my career full time in academia I spent much of my clinical years as a clinical educator and oversaw the clinical education program at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange New Jersey. My research focus is centered to individuals who have suffered a spinal cord injury. These individuals are in an advanced aging process in comparison to the normal population as well hospital readmission and challenges with quality of life. I am interested in pursuing interventions, particularly those that have promise to prevent wellness decline in this population and to improve their quality of life. Collaborating with other researchers who have an interest in these same principles provides promise for this population. My collaboration with community partners and centers serving this population has been an ongoing part of my research. I have also focused my research in the area of clinical education, mentoring and mindfulness.

    Headshot of Martha Sliwinsk
  • Mahlon Stewart, PT, DPT, GCS

    Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (Physical Therapy) at CUIMC

    Dr. Stewart is a 2008 graduate of the Program and a board-certified specialist in geriatric physical therapy. His clinical experience is in acute inpatient rehabilitation treating medically complex adults with neurological and orthopedic conditions. His present focus is on population health, and he works in his own community as volunteer President and Board Chair of Neighbor2Neighbor in Greenwich Village, Inc., a grass-roots non-profit organization dedicated to supporting seniors as they age with dignity in their own homes and neighborhood.

    Dr. Stewart is in the midst of pursuing a PhD in Health Science with a concentration in Health Promotion and Wellness. His research interests include: evaluating the financial well-being, physical activity, and social networks of the oldest-old aging in the community in the city; creating partnerships between academic programs and hospital training sites to improve patient care; and investigating innovative models for the future of clinical education in physical therapy.

    Portrait of Dr. Stewart
  • Jean Fitzpatrick Timmerberg, PT, PhD, MHS, OCS

    Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (Physical Therapy) at CUIMC

    Dr. Timmerberg's professional expertise includes orthopedics and clinical education. She is also a credentialed clinical instructor.

    Headshot of Jean Timmerberg
  • Christopher Kevin Wong, PT, PhD, MS

    Associate Professor, Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine (Physical Therapy) at CUIMC, Associate Director, Program in Physical Therapy

    Dr. Wong graduated from the Physical Therapy Program at Columbia University in New York, and earned his PhD in health education and research at Touro University International in Los Angeles, California. A NY state licensed physical therapist since 1993 and orthopedic specialist certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists since 2000, he practices in a private sports/orthopedic clinic in Westchester County, NY.

    Dr. Wong teaches Soft Tissue Mobilization, Advanced Seminar in Orthopedic Physical Therapy, and Orthotics and Prosthetics in the Columbia University Program in Physical Therapy. A recipient of the APTA Education Section Distinguished Educator and Minority Faculty Development Scholarship Awards, Dr. Wong has taught these content areas for over 20 years. Prior to joinig the Columbia University faculty, Dr. Wong was the Director of Physical Therapy Programs at Touro College, NY.

    Dr. Wong has published over 40 peer-reviewed papers related to orthopedic, orthotics and prosthetics, and education research in two dozen national and international journals including Anals of Vascular Surgery, Pain Medicine, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physical Therapy, Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy, Manual Therapy, and Prosthetics and Orthotics International. His current research focuses on “amputation, balance, falls, and function.” Dr. Wong has authored several book chapters related to orthotics, prosthetics, and strain counterstrain; and led educational workshops at state and national conferences on integrating technology with active learning strategies and developing cultural competence in the allied health sciences.

    Dr. Wong has volunteered in Vietnam with Health Volunteers Overseas, and served as an accreditation team leader for the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education and National Licensing Examination item writer for the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. 

    Christopher Kevin wong
  • Lisa Yoon, PT, DPT, PCS, C/NDT

    Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (Physical Therapy) at CUIMC

    Dr. Yoon was a lifelong native of the west coast prior to entering PT school at Columbia University in 1993. Upon graduation in 1995, Dr. Yoon remained in New York to fulfill her scholarship commitment to the Department of Education with the intention of moving back to the west coast soon after. However, over twenty-three years later, Dr. Yoon now calls New York her permanent home.

    Dr. Yoon has dedicated all of her professional career understanding the unique challenges and joys in working with the pediatric population, and is excited to pass this knowledge and her passion on to the next generation of PT students.

    Prior to joining the faculty at Columbia in 2016, Dr. Yoon has worked under the leadership of Drs. Debra Krasinski and Susan Klepper since 2008 in a variety of roles in the pediatrics curriculum. During the summer session, Dr. Yoon accompanied a group of six DPT students and a team leader on a service learning trip to Guatemala.

    When not working, Dr. Yoon enjoys ice-skating and watching tennis, gymnastics, and diving.

    Headshot of Lisa Yoon