Professional Bio

Education
  • Ph.D., Neuroscience, Northwestern University, 2016
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy, University of Washington, 2008
  • Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, University of Washington, 2005

Teaching Philosophy: My primary philosophy as a teacher of physical therapy students is to facilitate learning by connecting course material back to clinical relevance. In doing so, my approach bolsters student’s long-term retention, clinical reasoning and empathy for patients. 

Download Curriculum Vitae

Certifications and Expertise

Clinical Certifications
  • Professional License: Physical Therapist, State of Colorado, DORA, Division of Professions and Occupations, License #: PTL.0014215

Professional Memberships

  • American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
  • Society for Neuroscience

Research and Scholarship

Research Interests
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Whiplash injury
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Electrophysiological testing
  • Muscle imaging

Recent Publications

Smith AC, Jakubowski K, Wasielewski M, Elliott JM, Lee SM. Lower extremity muscle structure in incomplete spinal cord injury: a comparison between ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 2016 (submitted).

Smith AC, Weber KA, Parrish TB, Hornby TG, Tysseling VM, McPherson JG, Wasielewski M, Elliott JM. Ambulatory function in motor incomplete spinal cord injury: A magnetic resonance imaging study of spinal cord edema and lower extremity muscle morphometry. Spinal Cord, 2016 (under review).

Smith AC, Knikou M. A review on locomotor training after spinal cord injury: reorganization of spinal neuronal circuits and recovery of motor function. Neural Plasticity, 2016 (accepted for publication).

Smith AC, Knikou M, Yelick KL, Alexander AR, Murnane MM, Kritselis AA, Houmpavlis PJ, McPherson JG, Wasielewski M, Hoggarth MA, Elliott JM. MRI measures of fat infiltration in the lower extremities following motor incomplete spinal cord injury: reliability and potential implications for muscle activation. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2016 (accepted for publication).

Smith AC, Parrish TB, Hoggarth MA, McPherson JG, Tysseling VM, Wasielewski M, Kim HE, Hornby TG, Elliott JM. Potential associations between chronic whiplash and incomplete spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord: Series and Cases, 2015, doi:10.1038/scsandc.2015.24.

Sions JM, Smith AC, Hicks GE, Elliott JM. Trunk muscle size and composition assessment in older adults with chronic low back pain: An Intra-examiner and Inter-examiner Reliability Study. Pain Medicine, 2015, doi:10.1093/pm/pnv023.

Knikou M, Smith AC, Mummidisetty CK. Locomotor training improves reciprocal and non-reciprocal inhibitory control of soleus motoneurons in human spinal cord injury. Journal of Neurophysiology, 2015;113:2447-2460.

Smith AC, Rymer WZ, Knikou M. Locomotor training modifies soleus monosynaptic motoneuron responses in human spinal cord injury. Experimental Brain Research, 2015; 233:89-103.

Smith AC, Mummidisetty CK, Rymer WZ, Knikou M. Locomotor training alters the behavior of flexor reflexes during walking in human spinal cord injury. Journal of Neurophysiology, 2014;112:2164-2175.

Smith AC, Parrish TB, Abbott R, Hoggarth MA, Mendoza K, Chen YF, Elliott JM. Muscle-fat magnetic resonance imaging: 1.5 Tesla and 3.0 Tesla versus histology. Muscle and Nerve, 2014;50:170-176.

Abbott R, Hoggarth MA, Smith AC, Elliott JM. Letter to the Editor regarding: Smuck M, Cristostomo RA, Demirjian R, et al. Morphologic change in the lumbar spine after lumbar medial branch radiofrequency neurotomy: a quantitative radiological study. Spine Journal, 2014;14:1088-1089.

Smith AC, Mummidisetty CK, Rymer WZ, Knikou M. Effects of mechanical vibration of the foot sole and ankle tendons on cutaneomuscular responses in man. Neuroscience Letters, 2013: 545:123-126.

Mummidisetty CK, Smith AC, Knikou M. Modulation of reciprocal and presynaptic Inhibition during robotic assisted stepping in humans. Clinical Neurophysiology, 2013; 124:557-564.

Hajela N, Mummidisetty CK, Smith AC, Knikou M. Corticospinal reorganization after locomotor training in a person with motor incomplete paraplegia. BioMed Research International, 2013. doi:10.1155/2013/516427.

Knikou M, Hajela N, Mummidisetty CK, Xiao M, Smith AC. Soleus H-reflex phase dependent modulation is preserved during stepping within a robotic exoskeleton. Clinical Neurophysiology, 2011;122: 1396–1404.

Recent Presentations

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago’s Spinal Cord Injury Symposium. Chicago, IL USA 2016. Title of talk: “Walking after SCI: mechanisms and prediction.” (6/3/16).

American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting Orthopedic Platform Presentation. Anaheim, CA USA 2016. Title of talk: "Minor” whiplash injuries...could they involve the spinal cord?” (2/18/16).

Northwestern University Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences Grand Rounds seminar. Chicago, IL USA 2015. Title of talk: “Potential associations between chronic whiplash and incomplete spinal cord injury” (8/12/15).

Awards and Recognition

2015 – 2017, NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health Extramural Loan Repayment Program for Clinical Research.

2015 Foundation for Physical Therapy Mary Lou Barnes Award, Awarded due to the outstanding PODS II application in post-professional studies within neurology. 

2015 Foundation for Physical Therapy Promotion of Doctoral Studies II Award Recipient, Awarded to select physical therapist PhD candidates with the intent of developing independent researchers who will add to or refine the body of knowledge on which physical therapist practice is based.

2014 Foundation for Physical Therapy Promotion of Doctoral Studies I Award Recipient, Awarded to select physical therapist graduate students with the intent of developing doctorally prepared researchers who will add to or refine the body of knowledge on which physical therapist practice is based.

2014 – 2016, NIH/National Institute Of Child Health & Human Development T32 Training Grant, Awarded to select neuroscience graduate students for financial support, this training program focuses on the neurobiology of movement and rehabilitation sciences, with three main goals: 1) understanding the neurobiology of movement behavior and disorders, 2) identifying and addressing the need for quantitative methods in the field and 3) applying this knowledge to the development of effective rehabilitation interventions.

2012 Foundation for Physical Therapy Florence Kendall Doctoral Scholarship Award Recipient, Awarded to five physical therapists nationwide who display outstanding potential within their first year of post-professional doctoral degree studies.





Community Involvement and Service

Service to Profession

  • Manuscript Reviewer – Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, Physiotherapy Theory and Practice (2016 – Present)

Service to Community

  • Evidence Based Practice Task Force, Regis University School of Physical Therapy