Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University
Jefferson College of Health Professions
Department of Physical Therapy

Johnston, Therese

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Therese E. Johnston, PT, PhD, MBA

Contact Dr. Johnston

901 Walnut Street
Room 515
Philadelphia, PA 19107

(215) 503-6033
(215) 503-3499 fax


PhD in Physical Therapy, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
MS in Physical Therapy, Arcadia University, Glenside, PA
MBA in Health Administration, St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia, PA
BA in Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

University Appointment

Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, November 2012-present

Research and Clinical Interests

 Dr. Johnston's research interests include interventions to improve the health, fitness, and function of children and adults with spinal cord injury or cerebral palsy, with a special focus on the use of functional electrical stimulation (FES). Currently Dr. Johnston has funding from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation to study the effects of two different FES cycling paradigms in adults with spinal cord injury to identify the effects on bone and muscle. She is also a co-investigator on an NIH grant studying the effects of FES cycling for children with cerebral palsy.

Professional Societies

American Physical Therapy Association
    Vice-Chair: Neurology Section Spinal Cord Injury Special Interest    
        Group (2007 to 2010)
    Chair: Section on Research Early Career Researcher SIG (February
        2010 to present, one of founding members)
    Member: Research Committee for Neurology Section (August 2010
        to present)
    Member: Section on Research Eugene Michels Forum Committee
        (2011-present, chair 2012 to present)

American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine
    Secretary: Spinal Cord Injury Special Interest Group (2010-present)
    Chair: FES Task Force within Spinal Cord Injury Special Interest
        Group (2010-present)

Courses Taught

PT 741: Comprehensive Physical Therapy Decision Making
PT 716: Neurologic Physical Therapy 2

Consultative and Advisory Positions Held

Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation, Research, and Development: Spinal Cord Injury and
   Musculoskeletal/General Rehabilitation Sections Grant Reviewer
United States Department of Defense: Spinal Cord Injury Panel Grant Reviewer

Recent Positions

Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, University of the Sciences,
   Philadelphia, PA, 2008-2012.
Research Associate, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Philadelphia, PA
   (1997-2012). Currently still on Scientific Staff.


Most Recent Peer-Reviewed Publications

  1. Relationship Between Body Positioning, Muscle Activity, and Spinal Kinematics in Cyclists With and Without Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review
  2. Musculoskeletal Effects of 2 Functional Electrical Stimulation Cycling Paradigms Conducted at Different Cadences for People With Spinal Cord Injury: A Pilot Study
  3. A comparison of acromion marker cluster calibration methods for estimating scapular kinematics during upper extremity ergometry
  4. Cycling with functional electrical stimulation after spinal cord injury: what's in it for me?
  5. Cycling with functional electrical stimulation before and after a distal femur fracture in a man with paraplegia
  6. Health and fitness in pediatric spinal cord injury: Medical issues and the role of exercise
  7. Randomized controlled trial assessing participation and quality of life in a supported speed treadmill training exercise program vs. a strengthening program for children with cerebral palsy
  8. Muscle changes following cycling and/or electrical stimulation in pediatric spinal cord injury
  9. Effects of cycling and/or electrical stimulation on bone mineral density in children with spinal cord injury
  10. Effects of a supported speed treadmill training exercise program on impairment and function for children with cerebral palsy
  11. Cycling with functional electrical stimulation in an Adult with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy
  12. A Randomized Controlled Trial on the Effects of Cycling With and Without Electrical Stimulation on Cardiorespiratory and Vascular Health in Children With Spinal Cord Injury
  13. Cycling for children with neuromuscular impairments using electrical stimulation-Development of tricycle-based systems
  14. Impact of cycling on hip subluxation in children with spinal cord injury
  15. The Effects of a Shank Guide on Cycling Biomechanics of an Adolescent With Cerebral Palsy: A Single-Case Study
  16. Examination of spasticity of the knee flexors and knee extensors using isokinetic dynamometry with electromyography and clinical scales in children with spinal cord injury
  17. Outcomes of a home cycling program using functional electrical stimulation or passive motion for children with spinal cord injury: A case series
  18. Exercise testing using upper extremity ergometry in pediatric spinal cord injury
  19. Biomechanics of recumbent cycling in adolescents with cerebral palsy with and without the use of a fixed shank guide
  20. Lower extremity muscle activity during cycling in adolescents with and without cerebral palsy