Current PhD Students
Our current students bring a variety of experiences and backgrounds to the Movement Science Program.
Adam Bittel, PT, DPT attended Utica College where he completed a BS in health studies and a doctorate in physical therapy. Adam is mentored by Dr. Todd Cade, and his research focuses on lifestyle and exercise interventions for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, as well as the effect of intermuscular adipose tissue on skeletal muscle health. In his spare time, Adam enjoys reading, watching local sports, and cooking.
Dan Bittel, PT, DPT is a doctoral candidate in the Movement Science Program under the guidance of Dr. David Sinacore. A Connecticut native, Dan earned his undergraduate degree in health studies and doctorate in physical therapy at Utica College. Dan’s current research focuses on the metabolic and functional effects of chronic disease on skeletal muscle and how alternative forms of resistance training may remedy such effects. Outside the lab, Dan enjoys playing baseball, exercising, and cooking.
Stefanie Foster, PT, FAAOMPT, received her Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from the University of Texas at Austin and MSPT from Texas State University., and worked eight years in a variety of outpatient PT clinics. During that time, she completed a clinical Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Physical. This clinical specialization led her to a deep curiosity in the relationship between hip dysplasia and hypermobility and pelvic floor disorders. Her current research, mentored by Dr. Michael Harris and Dr. Marcie Harris-Hayes, focuses on hip dysplasia biomechanics and hip pain rehabilitation. Outside the lab, Stefanie enjoys yoga, cycling, art, and West Coast Swing dancing.
Elinor Harrison, BA recently left a dance career in New York to pursue a PhD in Movement Science, where she hopes to take her love of movement out of the studio and into the lab to better the lives of people with neurological disorders. Her current research, mentored by Dr. Gammon Earhart, focuses on using music and dance to improve gait in people with Parkinson Disease. While in New York, Elinor worked in the Motor Performance Laboratory at Columbia University. As a dancer, she was a member of Jane Comfort and Company and Thomas/Ortiz Dance, among others, and she toured internationally with “A Chorus Line.” She has taught ballet and yoga for several years, and her own choreography has been performed in several venues throughout the U.S. Elinor holds a BA in French Literature and Dance from Washington University. Since moving back to St. Louis, she continues to dance whenever she can find a spare moment between renovating an old house with her husband and playing trains with her two-year-old son.
CT Hwang, BS grew up in St. Louis and graduated from University of Notre Dame with a degree in biological sciences. After graduation, she spent a year coaching rowing on the famed Charles River in Boston, working with the competitive masters women, military and veterans, and adaptive teams at Community Rowing, Inc. She is now pursuing a PhD in Movement Science, and is mentored by Dr. Linda Van Dillen. Her research focuses on the alignment and sensory processing risk factors in the development of low back pain in back-healthy people with prolonged standing. In her free time, CT can be found running in Forest Park, exploring Missouri’s wonderful state parks, or coaching rowing at Creve Coeur Lake.
Hyo-Jung Jeong, PT, MS, received her bachelor’s and MSPT from Yonsei University in Korea. While working as a physical therapist, she became interested in understanding the movement of people with musculoskeletal disorders and patients with chronic diseases. She is mentored by Dr. Mary Hastings and Dr. Michael Mueller, and her research focuses on musculoskeletal problems in people with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy. Hyo enjoys watching Korean baseball games and is an enthusiastic fan of the Busan Giants. She also likes traveling and playing guitar during her free time.
Andrej Marich, PT, DPT was born in Washington D.C. but has lived in a variety of places including Mexico City, MX; Phoenix, AZ; Sydney, Australia, and Honolulu, HI. He graduated from Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA majoring in Sports Medicine. He returned to Phoenix and worked as an adjunct faculty member in the Health Enhancement Department at Phoenix College while he earned his DPT from A.T. Still University. Andrej worked as an orthopaedic physical therapist for 12 years and was a volunteer PT for the 2000 Summer Olympics and 2002 Winter Olympics. His current research, mentored by Dr. Linda Van Dillen, focuses on examining the movement patterns of the lumbar spine during functional activities in people with low back pain and using motor skills training to examine the ability of people with low back pain to change their movement patterns. In his free time, he continues to be active in the physical therapy community, participates in triathlons, travels, and spends time with his family.
Peter Myers, BS grew up in Central New York where the cows outnumber the people. He received his BA in Physics and Studio art from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. During the summer of 2008, he moved to New York City and worked as a personal trainer and massage therapist while attending Columbia University. At Columbia, he studied neuropsychology and worked in a lab that studies learning in the brain. Peter was accepted into the Movement Science Program in 2014, and is mentored by Dr. Gammon Earhart. His current research investigates how functional changes in the brains of people with Parkinson disease affect motor learning. If you cannot find Peter at the lab, check the local yoga studio or the closest place one can get a large plate of nachos or cheese fries.
Kim Waddell, MS, OTR/L received her Bachelor’s degree in Health Science from Truman State University and her Master’s in Occupational Therapy from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Prior to starting the Movement Science Program, she worked at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and the Neurorehabilitation Research Laboratory at Washington University. Kim is mentored by Dr. Catherine Lang. Her research focuses on improving upper extremity performance for individuals post-stroke and measuring upper extremity performance using innovative and unbiased techniques. She is passionate about improving stroke rehabilitation, which both informs her research and inspires her to continue practicing as an occupational therapist at a local rehabilitation hospital. When she’s not in the lab, Kim stays busy with running and biking, traveling, and cooking. She also volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters and enjoys exploring the sites and sounds of St. Louis with her “little sister.”