Main Content:

Research Interests:

  • Neuroimaging of balance control
  • Treatment of balance and vestibular disorders
  • Mechanisms of sensory integration for balance

Ongoing Projects:

  • Neuroimaging of vestibular function in people with vestibular disorders
  • Vestibular rehabilitation for post-concussive vestibular symptoms in the military
  • Central control of mobility in older adults


Patrick Sparto is a professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and founding co-director of the DPT-PhD in Bioengineering program at the University of Pittsburgh. He teaches in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program and is graduate faculty in the SHRS PhD program in Rehabilitation Science. His current areas of research include the investigation of postural control in older adults, with an emphasis on studying neural and biomechanical control of step initiation. His work has been funded by NIA, NIDCD, and the University of Pittsburgh Older Americans Independence Center. He has served on NIH ad hoc study sections, a VA Merit Review Panel, as well as other grant review panels (Foundation for Physical Therapy Research). He has participated in the training of 21 pre-doctoral students (6 as primary mentor). His clinical practice focuses on the treatment of individuals with balance and vestibular disorders. 


Department of Physical Therapy


Doctor of Physical Therapy Residential and Hybrid Program
Doctor of Physical Therapy/Doctor of Philosophy in Bioengineering

Representative Publications