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Senior Staff

Diane L. Damiano, PhD PT
Chief of Functional & Applied
Biomechanics Section

Academic Degrees
BA, Catholic University of America
MS, Duke University
PhD, University of Virginia


Phone: 301-451-7544

 Portrait of Diane Damiano


Dr. Diane Damiano is the Clinical Center’s chief of functional and applied biomechanics section. A physical therapist by training, Dr. Damiano holds a PhD in research methods/biomechanics from the University of Virginia, a Master of Science in physical therapy from Duke University, and an undergraduate degree in biological sciences from Catholic University. She joins the Clinical Center from the Department of Neurology at Washington University in St. Louis.

Dr. Damiano’s area of expertise is in the investigation of both existing and novel rehabilitation approaches in children with cerebral palsy. Several years ago, she was one of the first researchers to recognize that spastic muscles were, in fact, weak and needed strengthening. Her work in this area has helped to revolutionize the treatment of these patients. Her most recent interest is in the role of physical activity in enhancing motor coordination and promoting neural recovery in those with brain injuries.

Her previous academic positions include an appointment at the University of Virginia Health Systems, where she she became an associate professor on the tenure track in the Department of Orthopaedics and also served as research director of the Motion Analysis and Motor Performance Laboratory.

Dr. Damiano is the recipient of numerous NIH grants, and has published more than 50 papers in peer-reviewed journals. She is a permanent member of the Musculoskeletal and Rehabilitation Sciences (MRS) NIH Study Section. She currently sits on the editorial board of Clinical Rehabilitation, was the previous editor for review articles for Gait & Posture, and is a reviewer for major journals in the fields of biomechanics and rehabilitation. Dr. Damiano is a past president of the Clinical Gait and Movement Analysis Society and the current president—the first physical therapist to serve in the role in the organization’s 61-year history—of the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine. She is a member of the scientific advisory board of the United Cerebral Palsy Research and Education Foundation.


Hughes Award, Pediatric Physical Therapy Journal, 2005; Annual Research Award, American Physical Therapy Assocation Pediatrics Section, 2000; Best Poster Award, American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine annual meeting, 2000; Ethel Hausman Clinical Research Scholars Award, United Cerebral Palsy Educational and Research Foundation, 1997-2000; American Physical Therapy Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship Award, 1996; Dorothy Briggs Memorial Scientific Inquiry Award, American Physical Therapy Association, 1996; Patricia Miller Research Award, American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, 1994, 1995; Fellow, American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, 1994

Selected Publications

Moreau NG, Li L, Geaghan JP, Damiano DL. Fatigue resistance during a voluntary performance task is associated with lower levels of mobility in cerebral palsy. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2008;89(10):2011-6.

Moreau NG, Simpson K, Teefey SA, Damiano DL. Muscle architecture predicts maximal strength and is related to activity levels in children with cerebral palsy. Physical Therapy 2010 ;90(11):1619-30.

Wingert JR, Sinclair RJ, Dixit S, Damiano DL, Burton H. Somatosensory-evoked cortical activity in spastic diplegic cerebral palsy. Human Brain Mapping. 2010; 31(11):1772-85.

Damiano DL, Arnold AS, Steele KM, Delp SL. Can Strength Training Predictably Improve Gait Kinematics? A Pilot Study on the Effects of Hip and Knee Extensor Strengthening on Lower-Extremity Alignment in Cerebral Palsy. Physical Therapy 2010: 90: 269-279.

Bland D, Zampieri-Gallagher C, Damiano DL. Systematic Review on the Effectiveness of Physical Therapy on Gait and Balance Function in Ambulatory individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury, Brain Injury 2011 (in press).

Damiano DL, Norman T, Stanley CJ, Park HS. Comparison of elliptical training, stationary cycling, treadmill walking and overground walking kinematics. Gait & Posture 2011; 34:260-4.

Prosser LA, Stanley CJ, Norman T, Park HS, Damiano DL. Comparison of elliptical training, stationary cycling, treadmill walking and overground walking: electromyography. Gait & Posture 2011 33(2):244-50.

Bland DC, Prosser LA, Bellini LA, Alter KE, Damiano DL. Tibialis anterior architecture, strength and gait in individuals with cerebral palsy. Muscle & Nerve 2011 (in press)

This page last reviewed on 08/19/11

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