Chief of Functional & Applied Biomechanics NIH
Dr. Diane Damiano is the Clinical Center’s Chief of the Functional and Applied Biomechanics Section within the Rehabilitation Medicine Department. A physical therapist by training, Dr. Damiano holds a PhD in research methods/biomechanics from the University of Virginia, a Master of Science in physical therapy from Duke University, and an undergraduate degree in biological sciences from Catholic University. Dr. Damiano’s area of expertise is in the investigation of both existing and novel rehabilitation approaches in children with cerebral palsy. Several years ago, she was one of the first researchers to recognize that spastic muscles were, in fact, weak and needed strengthening. Her work in this area has helped to revolutionize the treatment of these patients. Her most recent research interest is in the role of physical activity in enhancing motor coordination and promoting muscle and neural recovery in those with brain injuries. Her lab is also pioneering the use of non-invasive brain technologies such as EEG and Near-Infrared Spectroscopy to study motor coordination in children and adult with cerebral palsy and traumatic brain injury.