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Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

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Patricia Cristine Heyn, PhD


Assistant Professor
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Research Associate
Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for the Advancement of Cognitive Technology
Research Associate
Center for Gait and Movement Analysis at The Children's Hospital​

University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus
Denver, Colorado
Phone: 303-315-1293
Fax: 303-837-1208
E-mail: Patricia.Heyn@ucdenver.edu

"When doing research, don't look where everyone else is."
~ Dr. Mark Wilson, 2014

 

Dr. Heyn has a has a PhD in Applied Exercise Physiology/Gerontology followed by two post-doctoral fellowships in:

  1. neurologic and disability aging rehabilitation research supported by the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), and
  2. geriatric medicine research with emphasis in clinical trial and pharmacological studies supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA/NIH).

She joined the faculty of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in 2004 where she is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. During her Rehabilitation Research Fellowship at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, she developed unique evidence-based rehabilitation medicine methods and outcomes research under the mentorship of Dr. Ken Ottenbacher.

She has relevant knowledge on the evaluation of cognitive-behavioral therapies on brain injury, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease. She developed unique knowledge on how to synthesize and evaluate the quality of the evidence from clinical research studies. Her meta-analysis, The effects of exercise training on elderly persons with cognitive impairment and dementia: a meta-analysis, [learn more] is recognized as the #1 Top 25 SciVerse ScienceDirect: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Hottest Article.

During her second fellowship program supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIH), she studied the associations between mild cognitive impairment (MCI), metabolic syndrome, and lifestyle behavior. She obtained great expertise in designing clinical trials for frail and vulnerable individuals. Her investigations include the associations between exercise, sex hormone, diabetes, and cognitive function.

In addition, she has important relevant methodological evidence-based practice in disability research. Presently, she is the Research Center Methodologist & Coordinator for the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for the Advancement of Cognitive Technology (RERC-ACT) funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. She is the principal investigator in two of the center's projects.

She has been involved in several international academic programs. Her research was featured in La Nación, Argentina's leading newspaper, after she delivered a keynote lecture at the 6th Neuropsychological Argentinean Congress. The Alzheimer's Association features her research on the effects of exercise on dementia on its Maintain Your Brain ™ - the Science Behind the Recommendations. Her research is frequently cited in various media such as HealingWell.com, View of Washington, ABC 7 News and other local and scientific news reports.

Her current research interests include:

  1. developing and evaluating interactive technologies for cognitive and physical rehabilitation, and
  2. investigating the effects of behavioral interventions (with/out pharmacological/ complementary and alternative medicine ) on cognitive function, mood, behavior, and brain imaging.

She is constantly designing behavioral treatments for disabling and cognitive disorders. She has been involved in several international academic programs and scientific projects. On December of 2006, her research was featured at the most popular Argentinean newspaper " La Nacion " after she delivered a keynote lecture at the 6th Neuropsychological Argentinean Congress.

Colorado PROFILES

Learn more about Dr. Heyn's research at Colorado PROFILES.

Undergraduate:
University of Santo Andre, BS, Physical and Health Education
Graduate:
University of Central Florida, MA, Applied Exercise Physiology &Wellness
University of Central Florida, MS, Gerontology Certificate
University of Central Florida, PhD, Exercise Physiology/Gerontology
Fellowships:
University of Texas Medical Branch, Neurologic/Cognitive Rehabilitation
University of Colorado School of Medicine, Geriatric Clinical Research