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Faculty Bio
Gail Widener
PhD, PT


After practicing as a physical therapist for many years I returned to school and received my PhD in Physiology with a focus in neuroscience. Throughout my career I have practiced in many areas of physical therapy including sports medicine, acute care, neurorehabilitation and geriatrics. I have also worked in many physical therapy settings; acute care hospital, outpatient and home care. My favorite of these settings is home care - it is where PTs can have a dramatic impact on patient's lives - working with people in the environment in which they will have to function.



When I'm not teaching or being involved in research, I spend my time with my family: a husband, two boys, a male cat and a male dog. We enjoy camping and traveling. We live in Oakland and love its great food and proximity to everything in the Bay Area.


Teaching Interest
I am currently interested in investigating balance and functional mobility in elderly people and people with neurological insults. Of particular interest is evaluating balance dysfunction in people with multiple sclerosis. I have received funding from Samuel Merritt University, the California Physical Therapy fund and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for my research.
Courses Taught
I teach physiology content in Applied Physiology and Neuroscience I and II. In addition, I coordinate and instruct in Disease and Dysfunction II and III and Research II and III.
Peer Reviewed Publications


Publications:



Widener GL, Allen DA, Gibson-Horn C. Balance-based torso-weighting may enhance postural stability and function in persons with multiple sclerosis: a pilot study. submitted to: Clinical Rehabilitation



Liquori A, Widener G, Clark C. Effects of a 6-week prenatal water exercise program on physiological parameters and well-being in women with pregnancies in the 2nd-3rd trimesters: A pilot study. J of Section on Women's Health, 2003; 27(3): 11-19



Allen DA, Widener GL. Chapter 5, Tone Abnormalities, In: Physical Agents, edited by Cameron M, W.B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia, PA, 1998., 2007



McGibbon NH, Andrade CK, Widener GL, Cintas HL. Effect of hippotherapy on energy expenditure during gait in children with cerebral palsy. Dev Med Child Neurol, 1998, 40: 754-762



Widener GL, Cheney PD. Effects on muscle activity from microstimuli applied to somatosensory cortex (SI) and motor cortex during voluntary movement in the monkey, J of Neurophysiol, 1997, 77: 2446-2465



Cheney PD, Mewes K, Widener GL. Effects on wrist and digit muscle activity from microstimuli applied at the sites of rubromotoneuronal (RM) cells in primates. J of Neurophysiol, 1991, 66(6): 1978-1992



Gonzalez NC, Pauley J, Widener,G, Sullivan LP, and Clancy RL. Regulation of the acid-base balance during prolonged hypoxia: effects of respiratory and non-respiratory acidosis. In "Oxygen Transfer from Atmosphere to Tissues", Ed. NC Gonzalez and M R. Fedde. Plenum Press, New York, 1988, pp. 301-312



Widener G, Sullivan LP, Clancy RL, and Gonzalez NC. Renal compensation of hypercapnia in prolonged hypoxia. Respiratory Physiology, 1986, 65: 341-350



Scientific Presentations:



Balance-Based Torso-weighting Improves Balance and Mobility in MS. Gibson-Horn C , Widener GL. CMSC Annual Meeting, Scotsdale AZ, May 2006



The Use of Weighted Vests to Enhance Postural Stability, Gait, and Functional Abilities in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis, Gibson-Horn C and Widener GL, CPTA Annual Conference, Sacramento, CA, Oct. 2003


Grants & Fellowships


Research Activities:



National Multiple Sclerosis Society Pilot Grant, "Balance-Based Torso Weighting: A New Intervention for Improving Balance and Mobility", (44K), 11/2004



Faculty Research Grant – Samuel Merritt University “Long-Term Effects of a Weighted Vest for People with Multiple Sclerosis”, ($2700), 3/2003



California Physical Therapy Fund Grant “Use of a Weighted Vest to Improve Gait, Balance and Function in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis” ($2300.00), 12/2002



Faculty Research Grant “Use of a Weighted Vest to Improve Gait, Balance and Function in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis” ($1750.00), Samuel Merritt University 2001



Faculty Research Grant “Validation of the Senior Safety Questionnaire” Samuel Merritt University, 1994


Professional and Community Service and Professional Memberships


Selected Professional Memberships:



Member, Professional Advisory Committee, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Northern California Chapter, 1999 – present



Member, American Physical Therapy Association, 1981 - 1985, 1990 - present APTA Sections: Research, Neurology, Education, Geriatrics. and Acute Care



Member, Research SIG, California Chapter APTA, Sept. 1993 - present



Member, California Chapter, APTA, Golden Gate District, 1991 - present


Contact Info

Name
Gail Widener
PhD, PT
Title
Professor
Department
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Email

Faculty Profile

Gail Widener
Gail
Widener
PhD, PT
Professor
Doctor of Physical Therapy
GWidener@samuelmerritt.edu
510-869-6977


After practicing as a physical therapist for many years I returned to school and received my PhD in Physiology with a focus in neuroscience. Throughout my career I have practiced in many areas of physical therapy including sports medicine, acute care, neurorehabilitation and geriatrics. I have also worked in many physical therapy settings; acute care hospital, outpatient and home care. My favorite of these settings is home care - it is where PTs can have a dramatic impact on patient's lives - working with people in the environment in which they will have to function.



When I'm not teaching or being involved in research, I spend my time with my family: a husband, two boys, a male cat and a male dog. We enjoy camping and traveling. We live in Oakland and love its great food and proximity to everything in the Bay Area.


I am currently interested in investigating balance and functional mobility in elderly people and people with neurological insults. Of particular interest is evaluating balance dysfunction in people with multiple sclerosis. I have received funding from Samuel Merritt University, the California Physical Therapy fund and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for my research.
I teach physiology content in Applied Physiology and Neuroscience I and II. In addition, I coordinate and instruct in Disease and Dysfunction II and III and Research II and III.


Publications:



Widener GL, Allen DA, Gibson-Horn C. Balance-based torso-weighting may enhance postural stability and function in persons with multiple sclerosis: a pilot study. submitted to: Clinical Rehabilitation



Liquori A, Widener G, Clark C. Effects of a 6-week prenatal water exercise program on physiological parameters and well-being in women with pregnancies in the 2nd-3rd trimesters: A pilot study. J of Section on Women's Health, 2003; 27(3): 11-19



Allen DA, Widener GL. Chapter 5, Tone Abnormalities, In: Physical Agents, edited by Cameron M, W.B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia, PA, 1998., 2007



McGibbon NH, Andrade CK, Widener GL, Cintas HL. Effect of hippotherapy on energy expenditure during gait in children with cerebral palsy. Dev Med Child Neurol, 1998, 40: 754-762



Widener GL, Cheney PD. Effects on muscle activity from microstimuli applied to somatosensory cortex (SI) and motor cortex during voluntary movement in the monkey, J of Neurophysiol, 1997, 77: 2446-2465



Cheney PD, Mewes K, Widener GL. Effects on wrist and digit muscle activity from microstimuli applied at the sites of rubromotoneuronal (RM) cells in primates. J of Neurophysiol, 1991, 66(6): 1978-1992



Gonzalez NC, Pauley J, Widener,G, Sullivan LP, and Clancy RL. Regulation of the acid-base balance during prolonged hypoxia: effects of respiratory and non-respiratory acidosis. In "Oxygen Transfer from Atmosphere to Tissues", Ed. NC Gonzalez and M R. Fedde. Plenum Press, New York, 1988, pp. 301-312



Widener G, Sullivan LP, Clancy RL, and Gonzalez NC. Renal compensation of hypercapnia in prolonged hypoxia. Respiratory Physiology, 1986, 65: 341-350



Scientific Presentations:



Balance-Based Torso-weighting Improves Balance and Mobility in MS. Gibson-Horn C , Widener GL. CMSC Annual Meeting, Scotsdale AZ, May 2006



The Use of Weighted Vests to Enhance Postural Stability, Gait, and Functional Abilities in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis, Gibson-Horn C and Widener GL, CPTA Annual Conference, Sacramento, CA, Oct. 2003



Research Activities:



National Multiple Sclerosis Society Pilot Grant, "Balance-Based Torso Weighting: A New Intervention for Improving Balance and Mobility", (44K), 11/2004



Faculty Research Grant – Samuel Merritt University “Long-Term Effects of a Weighted Vest for People with Multiple Sclerosis”, ($2700), 3/2003



California Physical Therapy Fund Grant “Use of a Weighted Vest to Improve Gait, Balance and Function in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis” ($2300.00), 12/2002



Faculty Research Grant “Use of a Weighted Vest to Improve Gait, Balance and Function in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis” ($1750.00), Samuel Merritt University 2001



Faculty Research Grant “Validation of the Senior Safety Questionnaire” Samuel Merritt University, 1994



Selected Professional Memberships:



Member, Professional Advisory Committee, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Northern California Chapter, 1999 – present



Member, American Physical Therapy Association, 1981 - 1985, 1990 - present APTA Sections: Research, Neurology, Education, Geriatrics. and Acute Care



Member, Research SIG, California Chapter APTA, Sept. 1993 - present



Member, California Chapter, APTA, Golden Gate District, 1991 - present


History

Member for
7 years 8 months