Physical Therapy Clinical and Translational Research Center

The Physical Therapy Clinical and Translational Research Center (PT-CTRC) provides consistent, high quality physical-performance testing and rehabilitation intervention services to clinical and translational researchers. PT-CTRC staff work closely with investigators across all phases of research, from pre-award to post-award, to ensure efficient use of resources. Staff consult and assist investigators with budget preparation for pre-award submissions, and letters of support and center resource descriptions. Collaborations with investigators ensure that each study has an appropriate selection of test batteries and rehabilitation interventions, and that these are appropriately analyzed.

Located on the fourth floor of Bridgeside Point One, the PT-CTRC has approximately 6,000 square feet of space including a waiting area, four clinical examination rooms, a walking track, and a conference room. The center is also equipped with emergency devices such as CPR kit, AED, and first-aid kits.

Testing Unit

Administration of performance-based physical function tests, including:

  • Balance tests (side-by-side, semi-tandem, tandem, and single-leg stances)
  • Walk tests (e.g., figure-of-eight, four-meter, forty-meter fast paced walk, six- and thirty-minute walk tests)
  • Functional gait assessment, spatial-temporal parameters of gait
  • Physical activity monitoring
  • Power ramp test
  • Sitting-rising tests
  • Stair ascend/descend test
  • Survey administration to measure self-reported physical function
  • Impairment measures:
    • Isokinetic or hand-held dynamometry
    • Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA)
    • Manual assessment of muscle strength and power
    • Muscle length and range-of-motion assessments using standard or gravity goniometry
    • Monofilament testing

Intervention Unit

  • Strengthening of trunk muscles, upper and lower extremities using weights, weight machines, resistance bands, electrical stimulation
  • Aerobic/endurance training
  • Mobility techniques, including agility training, functional training exercises, joint mobilization, muscle stretching, perturbation training, range-of-motion exercises, task-specific exercise training

Resources and Equipment

The PT-CTRC has equipment to perform a wide range of tests and interventions. Walls are outfitted with grab bars and mirrors to provide safety and exercise feedback. Computers, telephones, and emergency devices such as a CPR kit, AED, and first-aid supplies are also available. PT-CTRC capacity is four therapists and eight research participants at any one time. Available equipment includes:

  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation devices
  • Balance boards
  • Weight training machines
  • Free-weights
  • Electronic walkway
  • Handheld and isokinetic dynamometers
  • Heart rate and portable activity monitors
  • Hi-lo tables
  • Walking track
  • Perturbation training kits
  • Stairs
  • Start-stop timers
  • Two cycle ergometers
  • Three treadmills


Bridgeside Point 1
100 Technology Drive - Suite 470
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-3130


Administrator: Alexandra B. Gil, PT, PhD
Phone: 412-383-6714
Fax: 412-648-5970