Center for Foot and Ankle Research
The Center for Foot and Ankle Research strives to advance foot and ankle patient care through scientific investigation and translation of laboratory findings to clinical practice.
Over the past decade, Ithaca College’s Department of Physical Therapy at the Rochester Campus has developed a strong, collaborative relationship with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Foot and Ankle Division at the University of Rochester. This relationship began in 1995 when Debbie Nawoczenski PhD, PT (Ithaca College) and Judy Baumhauer MD (University of Rochester), combined their passion and expertise to study foot and ankle pathology through collaborative research study. Since that time, the growth of the research team has paralleled the evolution of personnel and technology in both departments.
In addition to Dr. Baumhauer, the University of Rochester added two additional fellowship-trained foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons, Drs. Benedict DiGiovanni and Sam Flemister. It is a rare and unique situation that an institution has three foot and ankle specialists. What is also exceptional is that Drs. Baumhauer, DiGiovanni and Flemister have the appreciation, skills and commitment to research that is critical to advance patient care. In addition to collaborative work with our faculty, each of them has been involved with our students in mentored research projects.
Equally critical to this growth has been the addition of Drs. Jeff Houck and Ernie Nalette to the faculty in the Department of Physical Therapy at the Rochester Campus. Dr. Houck’s expertise in lower extremity biomechanics and gait analysis has provided invaluable input to the research projects. Dr. Nalette continues to provide the vision for direction and development of the team and supporting staff. An additional member of this team is Josh Tome, a research biomechanist who assists both faculty and students in the Movement Analysis Laboratory.
When we paused to identify the other key personnel who are currently involved, or have been involved in foot and ankle projects in the Movement Analysis Laboratory over the years, the list is impressive. The collaborators include physicians, pedorthists, orthotists, a statistician, a chiropractor, medical residents and students, and other biomechanic experts in physical therapy. These individuals have participated or continue to play key roles in the research studies (see scholarly productivity).