The Foundation for Physical Therapy, Alexandria, Va, has awarded $151,000 to the winners of the 2009 New Investigator Fellowship Training Initiative (NIFTI).

The winners are:

Eric Vidoni, MSPT, PhD, of University of Kansas Medical Center. Vidoni received the $78,000 award for his research project titled Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Executive Function in Early Alzheimer’s Disease, which examines the hypothesis that cardiorespiratory fitness will be associated with greater functional independence through sustained executive function, the ability to plan complex goal-oriented behavior, in those with early Alzheimer’s disease. Vidoni will be mentored by Jeffrey Burns, MD, associate professor and director, University of Kansas Medical Center Alzheimer and Memory Center, at the Medical Center.

This fellowship aims to support doctorally prepared PTs in a mentored research experience as they begin their research careers. It accommodates traditional post-doctoral and new faculty applicants, and requires a commitment from the mentor and the institution at which the experience will take place.

Christine McDonough, PT, MS, PhD, of Boston University, who received the award in health services research. McDonough will receive the $73,000 award for her research project titled Evaluating a Contemporary Osteoarthritis Outcome Measurement Tool for Health Services Research. Her project will investigate the validity and sensitivity to change of a computer adaptive testing instrument developed for lower extremity osteoarthritis clinical research.

This fellowship aims to develop the fellow’s research skills to conduct high-quality, independent research to advance their capacity to examine optimal health service delivery outcomes in physical therapy, including cost analysis of various rehabilitation interventions. McDonough will be mentored by Alan M. Jette, PT, MPH, PhD, FAPTA, director, Health and Disability Research Institute, professor, Boston University School of Public Health. Boston University School of Public Health will be matching the funds provided by the Foundation for a total award amount of $146,000 given to McDonough.

Tax deductible contributions can be made in support of the Foundation online at or sent to: Foundation for Physical Therapy, PO Box 1017, Merrifield, VA 22116-9767. For more information, call (800) 875-1378.

The Foundation for Physical Therapy was established in 1979 as a national, independent nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving the quality and delivery of patient care by providing support for scientifically based and clinically relevant physical therapy research.

[Source: American Physical Therapy Association]