Eastern Colorado Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) - VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System
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Eastern Colorado Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC)


Eastern Colorado GRECC Investigators

20 December 2019

Jesse Christensen, PT, DPT, Ph.D, SCS
Title: GRECC Advanced Research Fellow, Physical Therapy
Contact: jesse.christensen@cuanschutz.edu
Personal Statement
Jesse grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah and attended the University of Utah for his undergraduate and masters degree education. He later completed his Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree at the University of Utah. He completed his residency training at Howard Head Sports Medicine / Steadman & Hawkins Sports Medicine Center in Vail, Colorado. After his residency, he spent the next six years as a clinical physical therapist at The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital working with patients following both surgical and non-surgical related injuries. He transitioned into clinical biomechanics research, completing his PhD in Rehabilitation Science (Applied Biomechanics) at the University of Utah. Currently, he is working with Dr. Jennifer Stevens-Lapsley on several NIH and VA funded research projects. In his spare time, he enjoys skiing, fly-fishing, mountain biking and traveling.
Throughout my career in physical therapy and orthopaedics, I have been largely driven by clinical investigation related to various areas of knee pathology. I have experience in clinical outcomes and motion capture analysis with specific training in research areas that are essential to the success of this proposed project. I have designed and carried out several observational cohort studies related to patient-reported outcomes, muscle function and joint biomechanics in patients following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) procedures. My PhD was focused on clinical biomechanics and this education provided the necessary skills to answer appropriate questions related to knee pathology. As a clinical investigator, I’ve been supported with internal grants that have provided opportunities to collect preliminary data related to novel postoperative rehabilitation methods of motor retraining, relating muscle function to joint mechanics and a multitude of clinical factors related to function. These experiences made it possible to recruit and track participants over time by the publications listed below. During my dissertation work, I successfully administered these projects (e.g. recruitment, data collection, data entry, statistical analysis) and subsequently presented and published findings related to this work. This application builds upon my prior research experience and will provide an ideal mentoring environment to advance my training toward reaching my goals as an independent clinical researcher.
I am currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Colorado Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus in the RESTORE Laboratory under the mentorship of Dr. Jennifer Stevens-Lapsley. The goals of this fellowship will be to learn the necessary skills to conduct clinical trials by working on two rehabilitation trials under the mentorship of Dr. Jennifer Stevens-Lapsley. Both trials, one related to rehabilitation for Veterans undergoing total hip arthroplasty (THA) and the other related to TKA rehabilitation. The THA trial is a VA-funded Merit Award project and the TKA trial is an NIH-funded R01 project. Both trials focus on optimizing physical function outcomes through innovative movement training interventions that target biomechanical outcomes. Developing effective interventions to improve abnormal movement strategies and functional mobility in older adults requires a skilled mentorship team and strong research environment. This project and the larger collaborative team will help me develop the skills to become a well-rounded clinical researcher with a broad skillset. This mentorship training will help me focus my research so that my future work can be translated into targeted interventions used by clinicians. This fellowship opportunity will provide the ideal environment to foster the development of leadership in health care issues of the elderly. This opportunity will also provide the necessary mentorship to provide the platform for future funding mechanisms benefiting Veterans and will be essential for my development as a clinical researcher.
Research Interest
— Movement pattern biofeedback training after total knee arthroplasty
— Improving rehabilitation outcomes after total hip arthroplasty

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