Beth Fisher, PhD, PT, FAPTA
Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy
Professor of Clinical Physical Therapy
Dr. Fisher holds a joint appointment in the Department of Neurology, Keck School of Medicine at USC in addition to her professorship in the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy. She is the director of the Neuroplasticity and Imaging Laboratory, where she primarily uses transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to investigate brain-behavior relationships during motor skill learning and motor control in both nondisabled individuals and individuals with neurologic disorders. Additionally, Dr. Fisher is the director of the University of Southern California/Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center (USC/RLANRC) Residency Program in Neurologic Physical Therapy. She previously worked at Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center in Adult Neurology and Brain Injury Services and continues to consult and teach nationally and internationally on current concepts for the treatment of adults with neurological disorders.
During her years as a clinician and rehabilitation specialist, Dr. Fisher’s greatest ambition was to be a part of developing physical therapy interventions that would maximize neural and behavioral recovery in individuals suffering from pathological conditions affecting the nervous system. Toward this goal, she is currently studying the effects of skill training compared with aerobic exercise on functional recovery and brain repair in Parkinson’s disease using fMRI as a marker of neuroplasticity. Her interest in studying neuroplastic changes with skill development has led her to extend her work to non-neurologic populations. She is currently utilizing TMS to study the relationship between skill level and interhemispheric inhibition in musicians. Also through TMS, she is exploring brain changes in healthy individuals learning complex motor skills as part of an ACL injury prevention program and differential modifications in the brain and spinal cord resulting from receiving high- versus low-velocity mobilization as part of a physical therapy program for ankle sprains.
- University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Molecular Biology, 2000–02
- University of Southern California, Los Angeles, PhD in Biokinesiology, 2000
- University of Southern California, Los Angeles, MS in Physical Therapy, 1980
To learn more about Dr. Fisher’s work with USC, please visit this page.