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LaDora Thompson, Ph.D., B.S. P.T., named director of Program in Physical Therapy

Sarah Hansen
May 29, 2013

Photo by Sarah Morean

LaDora Thompson, Ph.D., B.S. P.T., has been named the next director of the Program in Physical Therapy. After serving as interim director since January 2012, she assumed full directorship in mid-May 2013. She will continue her role as faculty advisor in Rehabilitation Science.

Thompson has worked in the Medical School for almost 20 years, since July 1993. Her lab receives funding from the NIH and her work is focused on improving the quality of life for older adults. She is the current president of the American Aging Association.

Her lab was the first to fully characterize age-related changes in muscle health at the cellular level. They continue to work to understand the underlying cellular mechanisms that explain muscle weakness and dysfunction in order to develop appropriate therapies that will prevent, retard, and reverse these age-related declines.

Through her many years on faculty, Thompson has seen incredible growth within the Physical Therapy program. When she began there were six faculty members and the program was offered to undergraduates. Since then, the faculty has doubled and the program has launched a doctorate program – the first in Minnesota. In 2016, the program will celebrate its 75th anniversary.

The Medical School’s Program in Physical Therapy is currently #19 in the nation, according to the 2014 U.S. News & World Report. Its rate of graduation is 100%, rate of passing the P.T. exam is 100%, and remarkably its job placement rate is 100% as well.

“We are proud of our Program in Physical Therapy and we are proud of the work LaDora Thompson has committed to the program and its future,” says Dean Aaron Friedman. “She has done a wonderful job as interim director and we welcome her in her new, permanent position as director of the Program in Physical Therapy.”

When she is not working, Thompson enjoys visiting with family and friends, and traveling. Her two sons live on the east coast and both coach sailing for different universities.

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