Category: Physical Therapy

Man standing at a window holding a replica of a spinal cord

Hicks named Distinguished Professor of Health Sciences

September 21, 2022 Written by Colin Heffinger | Photo by Ashley Barnas

Gregory Hicks, professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Delaware, has recently been appointed as Distinguished Professor of Health Sciences. This appointment was made effective on June 1, 2022.

Hicks has managed a variety of roles in UD’s faculty since joining in 2007. He has previously held titles of deputy dean for the College of Health Sciences and chair of the Department of Physical Therapy. Today, Hicks serves as associate vice president for clinical & translational research, as well as principal investigator and director of the Delaware Clinical and Translational Research ACCEL program.

Hicks acquired his master’s degree in physical therapy at UD, then proceeded to complete his doctoral training at the University of Pittsburgh. Following his time at the University of Pittsburgh, Hicks continued his post-doctoral work at the National Institute of Aging.

“Being appointed as Distinguished Professor of Health Sciences provides me with additional resources to help with research needs,” Hicks said. “It’s a great recognition of the work I’ve done in the College of Health Sciences.”

Darcy Reisman, professor and chair for the Department of Physical Therapy, explained the importance of this acknowledgement.

“Hicks is extremely deserving of this recognition for his past and ongoing contributions,” Reisman said. “He is a national leader in Physical Therapy, having served on the APTA Board of Directors as a strong and respected voice regarding issues of health disparities and diversity as well as equity and inclusion challenges in our profession.”

Reisman continued by highlighting how Hicks has also played “a major role in addressing chronic pain in older adults” throughout his career.

“Hicks has accomplished this through his outstanding research,” Reisman said. “His work has created a tremendous influence on the field of rehabilitation and the practice of physical therapy. His scientific expertise and leadership abilities have also been apparent in his stewardship of the NIH sponsored Clinical Translational ACCEL Program. We are incredibly proud of Hicks and all his accomplishments.”

In addition, Hicks and his team across the University of Pittsburgh, Boston University, and Washington University have recently acquired an NIH Research Education grant for their new Training in Diversity Education (TiDe) program.

The TiDe program is designed to confront the challenging lack of diversity in the rehabilitation sciences by training current clinician scientists in best practices so they can develop pathways for future researchers from a variety of backgrounds, create communities of diverse scientists, and reduce the barriers to diversity and inclusion in rehabilitation research. This is the first research education program of its kind to focus on diversifying the rehabilitation science workforce with the long-term goal of tackling existing health disparities within rehabilitation care delivery. 

Kathleen Matt, Dean of the College of Health Sciences, reflected on Hicks’ appointment and influence on the field of physical therapy in clinical and translational research.

“Hicks' appointment as Distinguished Professor of Health Sciences is demonstrative in recognition of his commitment to our research and overall impact for translation of this research into clinical care,” said Matt. “We are enthusiastic as he continues to drive excellence in research across the College of Health Sciences to improve health outcomes and to enhance the education and training of the healthcare workforce of the future.”

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