NIH Clinical Center Senior Staff

Diane L. Damiano, PhD PT


Dr. Diane Damiano is the Clinical Center's Chief of the Functional and Applied Biomechanics Section within the Rehabilitation Medicine Department. 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. Her previous academic appointments prior to joining the Intramural Research Program were in the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Virginia where she was promoted to Associate Professor on the tenure track and the Department of Neurology at Washington University of 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 research interest is in the role of physical activity in enhancing motor coordination and promoting muscle and neural recovery in those with brain injuries. Her lab is also pioneering the use of non-invasive brain technologies such as EEG and Near-Infrared Spectroscopy to study motor coordination in children and adult with cerebral palsy and traumatic brain injury.

Dr. Damiano has published more than 90 papers in peer-reviewed journals. She currently sits on the editorial board of Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, Developmental and Child Neurology, and the Journal of Pediatric 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 Association 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

  1. de Campos AC, Kukke SN, Hallett M, Alter KE, Damiano DL. Characteristics of Bilateral Hand Function in Individuals With Unilateral Dystonia Due to Perinatal Stroke: Sensory and Motor Aspects. J Child Neurol. 2014; 29(5):623-32.
  2. Maltais DB, Wiart L, Fowler E, Verschuren O, Damiano D. Health-related physical fitness for children with cerebral palsy. J Child Neurol 2014; 29:1091-1100.
  3. Damiano DL (2014). Meaningfulness of mean group results for determining the optimal motor rehabilitation program for an individual child with cerebral palsy. Dev Med Child Neurol 2014; 56:1141-6.
  4. Damiano DL (2014). Progressive resistance exercise increases strength but does not improve objective measures of mobility in young people with cerebral palsy. J Physiother 2014; 60(1):58.
  5. Moulton TE, deCampos AC, Stanley CJ, Damiano DL. Functional near infrared spectroscopy of the sensory and motor brain regions with simultaneous kinematic and EMG monitoring during functional movement. J Visualized Experiments. 2014: 94.
  6. Carruthers K, Zampieri C, Damiano D. Relating motor and cognitive interventions in animals and humans. Trans Neuroscience 2014 (in press).
  7. Kukke SN, de Campos AC, Damiano D, Alter KE, Patronas N, Hallett M. Cortical activation and inter-hemispheric sensorimotor coherence in individuals with arm dystonia due to childhood stroke. Clin Neurophysiol 2014 (in press).

NOTE: PDF documents require the free Adobe Reader.

This page last updated on 07/06/2017

You are now leaving the NIH Clinical Center website.

This external link is provided for your convenience to offer additional information. The NIH Clinical Center is not responsible for the availability, content or accuracy of this external site.

The NIH Clinical Center does not endorse, authorize or guarantee the sponsors, information, products or services described or offered at this external site. You will be subject to the destination site’s privacy policy if you follow this link.

More information about the NIH Clinical Center Privacy and Disclaimer policy is available at