News from the HMP Lab


NEW!  Dr. Miller is seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate to join the Autism & Developmental Disorders team:  Please click the link to see job description and application instructions, and visit after November 20, 2018 to submit application documents.

Changes to HMP Lab Staff (October, 2018):  This fall, we bid a fond farewell to lab members Gabriela Sherrod, Lauren Heitkamp, and Srikala Appana, and in their place we are excited to welcome new members Lizzy Walsh and Megan Bhatti!

New publication in Gait & Posture (October, 2018):  Drs. Miller, Patterson, and Bugnariu recently co-authored a paper in the journal Gait & Posture along with collaborator Dr. Priscila Caçola of the UT Arlington Developmental Motor Cognition lab.  Check it out here:

Congratulations to Dr. Haylie Miller on receiving the competitive NIH Loan Repayment Award! (August, 2018)

Autism & Developmental Disorders Research featured on NBC 5 News (August 15, 2018):

HMP Lab teams up with Texas Ballet Theater (July 2018):  Led by Dr. Rita Patterson, the HMP team will work with the Texas Ballet Theater this coming year to understand how the movements of professional dancers change across the course of a season!

ADDR students receive awards at recent local conferences (May 2018):  Karolina Kata (TCOM 2019) and Ivonne Peña-Alejo (SRIP visiting undergraduate intern) were honored for their work on the Autism & Developmental Disorders Research Team, which they presented as posters this spring. Congratulations ladies!

Dr. Haylie Miller receives Autism Speaks Local Impact Grant (February, 2018):

The Autism & Developmental Disorders Research Team will embark on a new outreach effort to understand the experiences of Hispanic families affected by autism. The project will include focus groups in the community, a survey to find out what services families use in DFW, and assessment of motor skills in Hispanic children with ASD.



UNT Systems Chancellor Lesa Roe visits the HMP Lab (October 19, 2017): Lesa Roe, the UNT System’s newly selected chancellor, visited the lab to learn more about the diverse and important research each of our PIs are conducting. Chancellor Roe will be responsible for all aspects of the System’s operations, including general oversight of10,000+ employees and the three UNTS campuses – UNT in Denton, UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth and UNT Dallas – as well as the UNT System administration. Thank you for touring our lab!

Child Study Center Puzzle Scuttle (October 14, 2017): The Autism and Developmental Disorders Research team attended the Child Study Center’s 9th annual Puzzle Scuttle, held at TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium, to distribute information about our lab’s studies and share resources with families present at the event. The team partnered with UNTHSC’s Physical Therapy Student Association (PTSA) volunteers to provide a fun obstacle course for kids to run, roll, skip, kick, and jump.


UNTHSC hosts Autism Speaks for its Autism Research Series (October 4, 2017): Angela Geiger, Autism Speaks President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Thomas Frazier, Chief Science Officer, and Marianne Sullivan, Director of Community Outreach held a free community science event hosted at UNTHSC. Prior to the event, they toured our lab and learned about the innovative autism research by our own Dr. Miller. Read more about Autism Speaks..

WFAA Channel 8 News Story (July 27, 2017):  Our Parkinson’s research program was in the news again recently. We were grateful to have Lauren Zakalik, a journalist from the Dallas ABC-affiliate visit the lab to conduct a report on our study investigating the effects of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment on postural control and gait in Parkinson’s disease. You can see the story from the nightly news here.

Parkinson’s research on KERA (June 21, 2017):  The North Texas public radio host KERA visited the HMP Lab in mid-June to conduct a report on our Parkinson’s research program. Ms. Stephanie Kuo wrote an excellent article ( and also conducted interviews with Dr. Papa, Dr. Patterson, and one of our research participants. The audio of the interview aired on KERA’s public radio station several times this month and can be found in the link above.
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Miller_Grandin_Womble_05.25.2017Future Horizons Conference on Autism (May 25, 2017):  Dr. Miller and the Autism and Developmental Disorders Research team attended the Future Horizons Conference on Autism in Fort Worth, TX.  They had the privilege of hearing Dr. Temple Grandin’s keynote, and presentations from other experts in the field.  Pictured below from left to right: Dr. Miller, Dr. Temple Grandin, Victoria Womble (SMART program summer intern).

International Meeting for Autism Research (May 10-14, 2017):  Dr. Miller gave an oral presentation at IMFAR 2017 in San Francisco, CA entitled “Visuomotor integration: a potential biomarker of Autism Spectrum Disorder in lab and community-based settings”.  Many thanks to the co-authors involved in this project – Priscila Caçola, Ph.D., Gabriela Sherrod, B.S., and Nicoleta Bugnariu, PT, Ph.D.!

Science on Tap (April 1, 2017):  Dr. Miller and Dr. Patterson will present invited talks on autism and balance in aging, respectively, at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History’s Science on Tap event.

2017-03-02 10.37.09Distinguished Guest Lecture from Dr. Eric Courchsene (March 1, 2017):   Dr.  Miller joined UNT Denton faculty from the College of Special Education in welcoming Dr. Eric Courchesne for a distinguished guest lecture on the incredible program of work he and Dr. Karen Pierce have done in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Students, staff, and faculty had the opportunity to learn from Dr. Courchesne’s expertise and hear new and exciting perspectives on brain function in ASD. Many thanks to Dr. Miriam Boesch and Dr. Smita Mehta for organizing this experience!

UT Southwestern Center for Translational Medicine (February 1, 2017):   As a KL2 Clinical Scholar in conjunction with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Dr.  Papa was featured in a promotional video for the NIH sponsored training program within the Center for Translational Medicine. (


NIH Clinical Translational Research Pilot Awards: Drs. Miller, Papa, and Yavuz received pilot funding awarded by the Center for Translational Medicine’s Clinical Scholars Program at UT Southwestern Medical School. This award is sponsored the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). (

UNTHSC Equipment Seed Grant:  The HMP Lab received an institutional seed grant for upgrade and expansion of the lab’s motion-capture cameras. This award will facilitate the purchase and integration of additional high-resolution cameras to the existing system.


North Texas Consortium on Physical Activity in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities:  Dr. Miller has accepted an invitation to join a consortium of researchers, clinicians, and stakeholders interested in understanding and overcoming challenges to physical activity and health facing the IDD community. This consortium is actively seeking new partners and community feedback – for more information, please contact Dr. Miller (

ISPGR Training School (November 17-21, 2016):  Dr. Bugnariu and the HMP Lab hosted a four-day training school sponsored by the International Society for Posture and Gait Research, “Sensorimotor Functioning in Neurotypical and Atypical Development”.  Distinguished national and international speakers presented didactic sessions spanning topics from neuroimaging to behavioral intervention in populations including typical development, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmental Coordination Disorder, and Cerebral Palsy.  Experiential learning sessions included discussion of ethics in pediatric research, demonstration of data collection and analysis, and demonstration and discussion of clinical tests for motor development.

Many thanks to our presenters (in alphabetical order) for sharing their time and expertise:fullsizerender

Dr. Christine Assaiante, Aix-Marseille Université

Dr. Nicoleta Bugnariu, UNTHSC

Dr. Priscila Caçola, University of Texas at Arlington

Dr. Kevin Callahan, UNT Kristin Farmer Autism Center

Dr. Dido Green, Oxford Brookes University

Dr. Haylie Miller, UNTHSC

Dr. Susan Morris, Curtin University

Dr. Rita Patterson, UNTHSC

Dr. Evan Papa, UNTHSC

Dr. Yasser Salem, UNTHSC

Dr. Heidi Sviestrup, University of Ottawa

American Diabetes Association Award: Dr. Yavuz was awarded a travel scholarship by the American Diabetes Association’s Interest Group on Foot Care Travel Scholarship Program in honor of Marvin E. Levin. This award was based on his outstanding contribution to the upcoming 76th Scientific Session of the American Diabetes Association where he will be presenting “How valuable is thermal data in identifying diabetic foot ulcers? Revisiting temperature as a clinical tool.” Awards were given to two qualifying authors with the highest scoring abstracts in the Foot Care/Lower Extremities category. The conference will be held in New Orleans on June 10-14.

NIH Clinical Scholar Award: Dr. Yavuz has been selected for participation in the Clinical Scholar Program awarded by the Center for Translational Medicine’s Clinical Scholars Program at UT Southwestern Medical School. This is a prestigious award that is sponsored in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). NCATS was developed to “transform the translational process so that new treatments and cures for disease can be delivered to patients faster.” (

Diabetic Shoe Innovation: Dr. Yavuz and research assistant Linda Adams recently developed a prototype of a self-cooling shoe. The shoe could possibly help prevent diabetic ulcers in individuals with diabetic neuropathy by keeping the tissue cool on the sole of the foot. Learn more about the self-cooling shoe.


National Science Foundation Grant: Dr. Miller received a 2-year fellowship award from the National Science Foundation’s Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate to investigate visuomotor integration in Autism Spectrum Disorder, and to develop robot algorithms to quantify imitative gesturing in the same population.

National Institute of Health Grant: In September of this year, Dr. Yavuz received a 3-year $453,000 R15 grant from a subdivision of the National Institute of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. This project will study patterns of foot stresses on the sole of the foot in response to prolonged physical activity in diabetic and control subjects. A total of 108 subjects from the following populations will be tested: diabetics with neuropathy, diabetics without neuropathy and healthy individuals with no history of foot problems or inflammatory disease. It will also study the association between shod (in-shoe) temperatures and foot stresses on the plantar surface. The results of this study will advance understanding of how diabetic ulcers develop and potentially lead to new treatment and prevention methods and technology.

American Society of Biomechanics Award: Dr Yavuz received the 2015 Research Travel Grant awarded by the past president of American Society of Biomechanics, Dr Richard Hughes. Funds were used for a trip to University of Akron to meet with Dr Brian L Davis and his research team. More information on the American Society of Biomechanics Award.


Student Awards: Hiral Master, Joseph Udofia and Stephen Rieder, student researchers in the Yavuz Lab, won “Best Physical Therapist Poster Presentation” at the UNT Health Science Center 2015 Research Appreciation Day. More information about RAD.

Symposium on Wound Care Speaking Engagement: Dr Yavuz has been invited to talk at the SAWC Spring Meeting in San Antonio.

Conference Host: Drs. Metin Yavuz, Rita Patterson and Mrs. Linda Adams organized the 2015 South Central American Society of Biomechanics Meeting at UNTHSC.

NIH Clinical Scholar Awards: Drs. Evan Papa and Haylie Miller have been selected for participation in the Clinical Scholar Program awarded by the Center for Translational Medicine’s Clinical Scholars Program at UT Southwestern Medical School. This is a prestigious award that is sponsored in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). NCATS was developed to “transform the translational process so that new treatments and cures for disease can be delivered to patients faster.” The award comes with 75% time-effort compensation for both Drs. Papa and Miller. (

Taking students beyond textbooks: Dr. Rita Patterson’s teaching efforts has been featured on the UNTHSC website.

Helping amputees live more mobile lives: Dr. Bugnariu’s research revisits prescription of prosthetics for amputees.

Robotic glove may help rehab patients: Drs. Patterson and Bugnariu have teamed up with researchers at UT Arlington to develop and test a novel rehabilitation tool.

Unlocking the secrets of autism: Dr. Miller’s research on autism has been featured on the UNTHSC website.

Passion for Rehabilitation Research: Dr. Bugnariu’s inspiring story and passion for rehab research is highlighted on the UNTHSC website.

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Research Step in the Right Direction: A research step in the right direction (in the Solutions magazine published by the UNT Health Science Center).

YavuzYavuzTurkish Recognition: Dr. Yavuz’s awards from the American Society of Biomechanics was featured on the Turkish national media.

Dr. Yavuz’s awards from the American Society of Biomechanics was featured on the Kent State University’s newsletter.