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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

University at Buffalo Names Nationally Recognized Physical Therapist New Chair of Rehabilitation Science

The University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions has a new chair in the Department of Rehabilitation Science. Dr. Sue Ann Sisto, a recognized leader in her field who was selected following an extensive national search, will join the University of Buffalo on January 18.

[Photo: Dr. Sue Ann Sisto]

Dr. Sisto comes to University of Buffalo from Stony Brook University, where she has served as professor of physical therapy since 2007. She also served as chair of the PhD program in health and rehabilitation science, for which she was director of the rehabilitation and movement sciences concentration. In addition, she developed and directed the Rehabilitation Research and Movement Performance (RRAMP) Laboratory in Stony Brook’s School of Health Technology and Management since 2009.

“I am thrilled to join such a talented team of faculty with a rich history of scholarly and educational excellence,” Dr. Sisto said. “I am particularly excited to work with the physical and occupational therapy programs, the rehabilitation science PhD program, their faculty and the students they serve. I am honored to work with the dean and her leadership team and hope to contribute to her vision of the School of Public Health and Health Professions.”

Dr. Sisto received her bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from St. Louis University, as well as both a master’s degree and PhD from New York University. She has been a physical therapist for more than 35 years, specializing in pathokinesiology, the study of human movement as it relates to any abnormal condition affecting movement. Most recently, she has focused on recovery of walking and health outcomes after spinal cord injury.

Dr. Sisto’s work has focused on the evaluation of movement using 3-D movement analysis technology, electromyography, kinetic analysis and metabolic exercise capacity. In 2012, she became the first physical therapist to be named a fellow of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM), which recognizes individuals who make significant contributions to the field of medical rehabilitation, and she served as president of ACRM from 2013-15.

“I am excited to be able to recruit someone with Dr. Sisto’s leadership experience and academic accomplishments, which is a testament to the quality and potential of the department, school and university at large,” said Dr. Jean Wactawski-Wende, dean of  the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions.

Dr. Wactawski-Wende thanked Dr. Susan Bennett, who has served as interim chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Science since September 2016 and also served on the search committee. “Dr. Bennett has done a tremendous job leading the department this past year, during two accreditation periods for both our physical therapy and occupational therapy programs. And this could not have been done without the dedication of all faculty and staff,” Dr. Wactawski-Wende added.