Movement Scientist on the Move | Teachers College Columbia University

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Movement Scientist on the Move

Once a student of the pioneering TC professor Ann Gentile, TC alumna Lori Quinn Dannheim continues to researcher Huntington's and develop physical therapy strategies to help combat the motor impairments it causes
During her first year as a movement sciences student at TC in 1991, Lori Quinn Dannheim (Ed.D., 1996; Ed.M., 1994; M.A., 1993) did her clinical traineeship with a Huntington’s disease unit in a New Jersey hospital. It was the beginning of a journey into what has since become her life’s work: understanding how Huntington’s, a degenerative brain disorder, causes motor impairments and developing physical therapy strategies to help combat them.
Huntington’s is not very well known, but it’s very devastating, and it’s genetically inherited,” says Dannheim, who studied under the pioneering TC researcher Antoinette Gentile. “When you work in this area, you’re not just treating an individual patient; you’re treating families and generations.”
After receiving her Ed.D. from TC, Dannheim worked at New York Medical College in Valhalla until 2003, when her husband’s job led the couple and their two young daughters to relocate to London. She remains a senior lecturer in the Medical College’s physical therapy program and is now an Honorary Research Fellow in the Physiotherapy Program at Cardiff University in Wales, as well.
Dannheim keeps in touch with many of her TC classmates and at various times has been able to collaborate with them. And when Gentile retired last May, Dannheim attended the party. “She influenced a generation,” Dannheim says. “Twenty-five years ago, people didn’t consider motor learning when they thought about physical therapy. She was really the driving force in changing that.”

Published Monday, Jun. 15, 2009