Faculty Research

Eric Arguello


Eric Arguello, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS, CSCS 

Assistant Professor
Dr. Arguello’s clinical expertise and research interests are in the prevention and rehabilitation of injuries in young athletes. His current research focus is to identify variations in human anatomy that may relate to musculoskeletal disorders and to evaluate balance deficits following an injury to the joints of the lower extremities.  Current research activities include an examination of cadaver data to determine if the extensor digitorum muscle of the lower extremity may contribute to nerve impingement. In addition, currently investigating the effect of fatigue on single-leg stance performance in young and geriatric adults.

Nicoleta Bugnariu

Nicoleta Bugnariu, PT, PhD 

Dr. Bugnairu’s expertise and research interests in age-related changes in systems involved in postural control, balance rehabilitation and fall prevention, sensory integration, balance and development of motor function in neuro-typical and children with autism spectrum disorders, and virtual reality and robotic technologies as evaluation and rehabilitation tools. Her research is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Texas Medical Research Collaborative Consortium (TXMRC).

Michael Connors

Michael Connors, PT, DPT, OCS 

Assistant Professor
Dr. Connors’ research interests in applied biomechanics and the enhancement of evidence-based rehabilitation for musculoskeletal pathologies. Funded by a seed grant from UNTHSC, dr. Connors and his collaborator Dr. Rita M. Patterson are using custom instrumentation and EMG to measure shoulder stiffness and investigate guarding behaviors in patients with chronic shoulder pain.

Howe Liu

Howe Liu, PT, MPT, PhD, MS, MD 

Dr. Liu has focused his research on the following areas: “Effects Of Inappropriate Use Of Assistive Ambulatory Devices (AADS) On Gait, Balance, And Posture“, physical therapy and alternative medical interventions (like tai chi and qi gong) to improve gait, balance and posture in older populations and AAD users, bioengineering intervention/design to modify assistive ambulatory devices and identification of musculoskeletal variations in cadavers in anatomy gross lab. Throughout his career he has published extensively and has engaged and supervised a large number of PT students in research projects.

Haylie Miller

Haylie L. Miller, PhD

Assistant Professor
Dr. Miller’s NSF- and NIH-funded program of research investigates visuomotor integration–the use of visual information to plan, execute, and modify movement. She studies visuomotor  integration in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other pediatric movement disorders (e.g., developmental coordination disorder). She collaborates with an interdisciplinary, multi-pi team in the  human movement performance laboratory at UNTHSC, which houses state-of-the-art motion capture (motion analysis, inc.) And virtual reality systems (caren, motek forcelink) with integrated  mobile eye-tracking (etg 2.0, sensomotoric instruments).

Charles Nichols

Charles Nichols, PT, DPT, OCS, M.Ed., CSCS 

Assistant Professor
Dr. Nichols has a particular interest in manual therapy having completed his manual therapy certification through the Evidence in Motion Manual Therapy Program. He is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He is also certified in the Functional Movement Screen and Selective Functional Movement Assessment screens and also completed training as a Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES) through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Dr. Nichols is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapist.

Myles Quiben

Myles Quiben, PT, PhD, DPT, MS, GCS, NCS, CEEAA

Interim Chair/Associate Professor
Dr. Quiben’s current areas of interest are in aging health and wellness, outcome measures, and frailty. Collaborating with internal and external faculty on aging research. Her current scholarly inquiry includes: Functional performance in healthy and frail older adults; falls; effects of specific geriatric syndromes and neurologic pathologies on movement; geriatric health and wellness; interprofessional collaboration and simulation.

Mike Richardson

Mike Richardson, PT, DPT, COMTGCS

Assistant Professor
Dr. Richardson has interests in education as well as clinical research. Particular interests include the ‘flipped classroom’ teaching model, service learning, and professional issues. Dr. Richardson enjoys collaborating with colleagues on projects involving the geriatric population and has participated in service learning with PT students at the Cowtown Marathon Expo.

Salem Yasser

Yasser Salem, PT, MS, PhD, NCS, PCS 

Dr. Salem is a researcher, educator, and clinician with expertise in children and adult neurorehabilitation. Dr. Salem’s research is clinically based and is parallel to his academic interests. His research focuses on the development of effective treatment strategies for the rehabilitation of children and adults with neurological deficits. He is specifically interested in developing evidence-based intervention programs for children with cerebral palsy and developmental delay and adults with neurological impairments and disability. He has collaborated with several national disability organizations to promote the efficacy of exercise programs through community-based access to exercise supporting greater participation and functional gains for people with neurological disorders. Currently, dr. Salem is working in collaboration with a faculty member in the department of physical therapy on the investigation of the effect of a wellness exercise program for people with multiple sclerosis and another study that examines gait parameters using different assistive devices. Currently, Dr. Salem is serving as the director of research for the aquatic section of the American Physical Therapy Association.

 Brandy Schwarz

Brandy Schwarz, PT, Ed.D., DPT, OT, MBA 

Assistant Professor
Dr. Schwarz has had previous research interests in effective methods for clinical education and mentoring of students. Particular interests are instructional methods to prepare students for addressing the challenges present in the geriatric population and for ensuring the provision of high quality physical therapy services for older adults. In the context of “Safe Communities”. Dr. Schwarz’s current research focus in on education: teaching and learning, interprofessional education, and clinical education. She is completing projects related to cultural competence development and helping to collect data on total contact casting for diabetic foot ulcers.

Metin Yavuz

Metin Yavuz, DEng 

Assistant Professor
Dr. Yavuz’s current research focuses on diabetic patients. His purpose is to better understand why diabetic ulcers occur and how they can be prevented. Diabetic ulceration is a major problem in the U.S. Diabetic ulcers are wounds which are caused by a combination of abnormal biomechanics, nerve damage, and vascular disease. Diabetic ulcers lead to approximately 100,000 lower extremity amputations every year along with $30 billion expenditure in healthcare. Diabetic ulcers are known to have a biomechanical etiology and were mostly tied to excessive pressures under the feet of diabetic patients. However, large-scale studies have shown that pressure per se is a “poor tool” in explaining why ulcers occur. Furthermore, therapeutic footwear designed to reduce peak pressure magnitudes can be only about 40% effective in preventing diabetic foot ulcers. Until recently, the exact pathology of diabetic ulceration was not clearly understood. Where researchers were stuck with only one-dimensional data (i.e., pressure) to study the complication, Dr. Yavuz and his colleagues assessed three-dimensional stresses that act on the sole of the foot. The other two components of the three-dimensional stresses are called plantar shear stresses. Dr. Yavuz’s initial studies on plantar shear in diabetic patients have shown for the first time in literature that: (i) plantar shear stresses are elevated in diabetic patients when compared with healthy control subjects, (ii) plantar shear has a biphasic character, which is thought to accelerate tissue breakdown, and (iii) peak plantar pressure and shear might occur at different sites under the same foot, which may explain why most ulcers do not necessarily develop at peak pressure sites.