Physical Therapy Faculty and Staff

Contact Physical Therapy Department

Our Leadership


Furtado, Michael16

Michael Furtado, PT, DPT, EdD

Board Certified Neurological Clinical Specialist

Department Chair, Associate Professor


Dr. Furtado is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy in the School of Health Professions at HSC. He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Science in pre-physical therapy and Master of Science in physical therapy in 2006. He later earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Boston University while he was a practicing physical therapist. He graduated with a Doctorate of Education in Health Professions from AT Still University.

In his early career, Dr. Furtado worked as a staff physical therapist for TIRR Memorial Hermann Outpatient Rehabilitation in Houston, Texas, serving in leadership positions such as the Center Coordinator of Clinical Education and Senior Physical Therapist, creating vestibular and balance programs in sports concussion and military veterans. He specializes in vestibular rehabilitation and in managing the recovery of amputees but is recognized for his expertise through the American Physical Therapy Association as a Board Certified Neurological Clinical Specialist, with experience treating all types of neurological injuries.

Dr. Furtado served as an Associate Professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch, where he was Admissions Chair and primary faculty for neuroscience and neurological clinical management. He was also the Founding Program Director for the Hybrid track DPT program. His’s professional accolades include various teaching and clinical awards with authorship in several peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and numerous poster presentations. He has extensive experience with public speaking engagements at the local, state, and national level. 

Heads Up

Leslie Ayres, PT, DPT

Board Certified Specialist in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy

Assistant Professor, Director of Clinical Education



Dr. Ayres is a graduate of Angelo State University physical therapy school in 2008 and received her DPT from Hardin-Simmons University in 2012. She has 12 years of clinical experience practicing at Texas Health Resources Fort Worth where she developed her passion for cardiac and pulmonary care in the acute setting. She is a graduate of Brigham and Women’s Cardiovascular and Pulmonary residency program located in Boston, MA and a DPT Board Certified Specialist in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy. Dr. Ayres’ research interests include Generation Z students’ learning preferences and developing teaching strategies for Generation Z students. She currently serves as course director for cardiovascular and pulmonary content, integumentary physical therapy, and rural and underserved populations.

Heads Up

Mindy Brummett, PT, DPT

Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

Assistant Professor, Director of Academic Education



Dr. Mindy Brummett is course director for Applied Anatomy and Kinesiology, Exercise Physiology, Evidence Based Practice, and Therapeutic Interventions II courses. She also assists in the Musculoskeletal content. Dr. Brummett graduated from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 2009. She obtained her Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist from the APTA in 2013. She has treated in an outpatient orthopedic setting for 12 years. Currently, Dr.  Brummett is pursuing her Doctor of Science degree from Texas Tech University. Research interests are accuracy of information used in social media content and concussion management. 

Mq Web

Myles Quiben, PT, PhD, DPT, MS

Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy
Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy

Associate Dean, School of Health Professions



Dr. Quiben serves as director of the clinical medicine series, cardiopulmonary physical therapy, and CAPSTONE courses. Dr. Quiben is a dual board-certified clinical specialist in Neurologic and Geriatric Physical Therapy (NCS, GCS), through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties, and is a Fellow of the APTA Education Leadership Institute, the National Academies of Practice, and the Texas Physical Therapy Association’s Leadership Program. She obtained her Ph.D. in Physical Therapy and post-professional Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of Central Arkansas, Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of the Philippines, and MS in Clinical Investigation from the University of Texas Health Science Center, as part of her postdoctoral training in geriatric research.
An active member in many APTA components, Dr. Quiben’s current scholarly activities include geriatric outcome measures, movement systems, simulation, and interprofessional education, and therapeutic interventions for neurological populations.

Our Faculty


Jehad Alzyoud

Jehad Alzyoud, PT, PhD

Assistant Professor



Dr. Alzyoud received his Bachelors degree in Physical Therapy in 2005 from the Hashemite University in Jordan, his Masters degree in Physical Therapy from New York Institute of Technology in 2007, and his Ph.D. in Physical Therapy (with emphasis on neurology and neurological rehabilitation) from Texas Woman’s University in 2017. Dr. Alzyoud has a diverse clinical experience with more than 15 years working at extended rehab as well as acute care facilities across different countries and different states. Dr. Alzyoud’s research interests are largely directed towards understanding human balance, particularly learning how sitting balance impairment following neuromuscular injuries influences the recovery process and activity participation. His ultimate research goal is to assist people with neuromuscular disorders in developing new strategies to maximize their participation in functional activities and minimize the risk of fall. Dr. Alzyoud serves as director of Clinical Reasoning I, Neuromuscular I & II, and Movement control courses.

 Lee Atkins 1

Lee Atkins, PT, PhD

Assistant Professor



Dr. Atkins received his Bachelors degree in Exercise and Sport Science from Texas Tech University, his Masters degree in Physical Therapy from Angelo State University, and his Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science (clinical biomechanics emphasis) from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Additionally, he received advanced clinical training in functional lower quarter biomechanics at the Movement Performance Institute in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Atkins’ research is aimed at understanding biomechanical factors associated with knee dysfunction. In particular, he is interested in identifying kinematic, kinetic, and muscle activation abnormalities associated with patellofemoral pain.  Currently Dr. Atkins serves as director or co-director of the Applied Exercise Physiology, Gait, Prosthetics, and Orthotics, and Clinical Medicine courses. Additionally, he assists with teaching the Biomechanics, Anatomy, and Orthopaedics courses.

Carling Butler Unt Health Science Center Hsc Heads Up October 2021

Carling Butler, PT, DPT, MSCI

Board-Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist

Assistant Professor



Dr. Butler graduated from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO with dual Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Science in Clinical Investigation degrees. She is passionate about blending her expertise in the management of both musculoskeletal and cardiopulmonary conditions. Dr. Butler will begin directing evidence-based practice and clinical medicine coursework. Prior to joining the team at UNTHSC, she worked in acute and critical care at UT Southwestern Medical Center, outpatient orthopedic and geriatrics at a private practice in Dallas, and was an Adjunct Faculty member at Baylor University for four years. Her research interests include early mobilization and higher-intensity exercise interventions in the acute care setting; the overmedicalization of common musculoskeletal conditions; cardiovascular disease prevention and wellness promotion efforts in community settings; burnout and resilience in health care professionals and students.

Elizabeth Garcia 2

Elizabeth Garcia, PT, DPT

Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurorehabilitation

Assistant Professor



Dr. Liz Garcia received her Bachelor’s from the University of Texas at Austin in 2008, and her Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in 2015. She teaches coursework in the Neurorehabilitation content area. She obtained her Neurorehabilitation Clinical Specialist certification from the APTA in 2020. She has treated in acute care and outpatient neurorehabilitation settings and focuses on vestibular rehabilitation. Prior to joining the HSC team, Dr. Garcia worked at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas and in the northwest Arkansas region. She is a member of the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy Item Writer Task Force.

Jeegisha Kaplia 1

Jeegisha Kapila, PT, DPT, PhD, MHS

Assistant Professor


Dr. Kapila is the course director of Development and Geriatric, and Culture teaching and learning courses and assists with Evidence-Based Practice III. She is a graduate of Drexel University, PA, and earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Her dissertation focused on deep neck muscle activity in individuals with a history of neck pain. Other research interests include shoulder capsule stiffness with mobilization, plantar fasciitis, and iliotibial band syndrome. Dr. Kapila worked primarily in an outpatient orthopedic setting and has 9 years of clinical experience.

Charles Nichols Web

Charles Nichols, PT, DPT,  MEd, ScD

Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy

Assistant Professor



Charles Nichols, PT, DPT, Sc.D. is an Assistant Professor for the Department of Physical Therapy. Dr. Nichols is the course director of the Musculoskeletal classes and Imaging class of the Physical Therapy program.

He is a Board Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) by the APTA, and a Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist (COMT) by Evidence in Motion and the International Academy of Orthopaedic Medicine-US along with a certification in Functional Dry Needling. 

Degrees: Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from Texas Tech University, Master of Education from the University of Texas at Tyler, Doctor of Physical Therapy from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and Doctor of Science degree from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. 

Dr. Nichols is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists. 

Research interests include orthopedic examination, nutrition, and tissue mechanics/anatomy. 

Our Staff


Shelly Smith Web

Shelley Smith
Assistant to the Chair


Tikeya Calhoun 1

Tikeya Calhoun
Academic Program Coordinator


Mary Tejada 2[99]

Mary Tejada
Clinical Site Coordinator