Main Content:

Research Interests:

  • Neural efficiency and walking efficiency
  • Assessment and intervention to restore motor skill (neuromotor control) of walking in older adults
  • Comparative clinical pet trials: assess motor control of gait in companion dogs

Ongoing Projects:

  • Walk Ratio Aging Project
  • Neural Efficiency and the Motor Skill of Walking

Peer-Reviewed Publications


Jessie VanSwearingen is a professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and a Worthingham Fellow of the APTA. Teaching activities include graduate courses in neuroscience, neuromotor control applied in clinical neurological decision-making, clinical electrotherapy, and geriatric physical therapy. Her research interests are in assessment and treatment to enhance neuromotor control in walking in older adults (and future, in companion dogs) and mechanisms underlying walking efficiency and neural efficiency related to motor skill in walking. (VanSwearingen JM, Studenski SA. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2014;16:1429-1436).


Department of Physical Therapy


Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Science
Doctor of Physical Therapy Residential and Hybrid Program
Doctor of Physical Therapy/Doctor of Philosophy in Bioengineering
Post Professional Program in Physical Therapy