Jennifer Zellers

Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

    Willing to Mentor

    Available to Mentor:

    Undergraduate Students, Post-Baccalaureate Students, PhD/MSTP Students, Health Professions (Medical, OT, PT, Dental, Audiology, etc.) Students, Postdocs, Residents and Fellows

    • Source: Scopus
    20162022

    Research activity per year

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    Personal profile

    Research interests

    Tendon injury can be debilitating and recovery is slow, incomplete, and prone to injury recurrence. Patient outcomes are also highly variable – it seems some people recover well with currently available treatments whereas others do not. My long-term vision is to optimize treatment for tendon dysfunction by personalizing rehabilitation and adjunctive treatments to promote the mechanical and biochemical environment needed for tendon repair and remodeling. My research line investigates person-specific factors that influence the tendon’s ability to respond to treatment. For example, aging, hormonal status, physical activity, and conditions like diabetes can affect tendon composition, structure, and mechanical behavior, altering the tendon’s ability to respond to treatment. Personalizing care for individuals with tendon disorders will require using not only symptoms but also specific tendon characteristics – or biomarkers – to align treatment with person- and injury-specific needs, adequately dose interventions, and assess tendon response to treatment. My research line leverages the study of ex vivo human tissues with in vivo diagnostic imaging and functional performance testing to characterize tendon tissue and patient function, assessing response to intervention. 

    Mentoring

    I am interested in mentoring trainees with diverse expertise/backgrounds and in a variety of career phases (undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, PhD, health professions students, postdocs, and residents and fellows). I feel strongly that it is the combined strengths of the research team that advances the science. My role as a mentor is to help trainees identify and leverage their areas of strength, while providing opportunities to grow new skills or "areas of stretch." Because my lab has on-going projects that are both bench and clinical research based, trainees with clinical, engineering, biology, anatomy, and kinesiology/exercise science backgrounds or interest are likely best aligned for the experiences the Tendon Rehabilitation Lab offers. 

    Available to Mentor:

    • Undergraduate Students
    • Post-Baccalaureate Students
    • PhD/MSTP Students
    • Health Professions Students
    • Postdocs
    • Residents and Fellows

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