Personal HistoryDr. Westlake received her B.Sc. in Physical Therapy from McGill University and her M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Rehabilitation Sciences from Queen's University in Canada. Her doctoral work was focused on the role of proprioception in postural control and the ability to train proprioceptive integration with visual and vestibular inputs to improve postural stability in older adults. Further questions about the neural control of movement were probed during her postdoctoral work in a individuals with stroke. She completed one year of postdoctoral research at the VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Center/Stanford University and three years in the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Westlake has over eight years of clinical experience as a physical therapist treating stroke and other neurological disorders. Her teaching roles have been in the areas of clinical neurology, neurorehabilitation, motor control and learning, neuroradiology, and as a research mentor. She joined the faculty at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in January 2011.
Research InterestsDr. Westlake's research interests are focused on the unpredictable timing and capacity for functional recovery after stroke. Using a multi-modal neuroimaging approach combined with clinical outcomes and motion analysis, she seeks to identify brain adaptations in connectivity that underlie improvements in motor control. Overall goals of this research are to better characterize the stroke population, predict recovery potential, and develop targeted and novel methods of rehabilitation that will optimize and individualize motor learning.
Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
Westlake KP, Culham EG (2006) Influence of testing position and age on measures of ankle proprioception. Advances in Physiotherapy 8(1):41-48
Westlake KP, Wu Y, Culham EG (2007) Sensory-specific balance training in older adults: effect on position, movement, and velocity sense at the ankle. Physical Therapy 87(5):560-8.
*This paper was the subject of an invited commentary by Madhaven S, Sheilds RK with response by Westlake KP, Wu Y, and Culham EG (2007) Physical Therapy 87(5):569-71.
Westlake KP, Wu Y, Culham EG (2007) Velocity discrimination: reliability and construct validity in older adults. Human Movement Science 26(3):443-456.
Westlake KP, Culham EG (2007) Sensory-specific balance training in older adults: effect on proprioceptive reintegration and cognitive demands. Physical Therapy 87(10):1274-83.
Westlake KP, Boyce W (2009) Comparative study of a hands-free crutch in El Salvador. Disability and International Development 2:10-15.
Jamieson M, Hutchinson NL, Taylor J, Westlake KP, Berg D, Boyce W (2009). Friendships of adolescents with physical disabilities in inclusive high schools. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy 76(5):368-76.
Westlake KP, Patten C (2009) Pilot study of robot versus manual-assisted treadmill training for locomotor recovery post-stroke. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 6(1):18.
Westlake KP, Nagarajan SS (2011) Influence of a stroke lesion on brain functional connectivity. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience 5.
Westlake KP, Hinkley L, Bucci M, Findlay A, Honma S, Guggisberg A, Byl N, Henry R, Nagarajan SS. Resting state alpha band functional connectivity and recovery of upper extremity function after stroke, (in revision)
Links of InterestPublications
Graduate Program in Life Sciences
Research in the Department of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science
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