New Faculty Member & Researcher

We are pleased to announce that Irene S. Davis, PhD, PT, FAPTA, FACSM, FASB has recently joined our School. Prior to joining our school and DPT program, she was the founding Director of the Spaulding National Running Center, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Davis received her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from the University of Massachusetts, and in Physical Therapy from the University of Florida.  She earned her Master’s degree in Biomechanics from the University of Virginia, and her PhD in Biomechanics from Pennsylvania State University.  She is a Professor Emeritus in Physical Therapy at the University of Delaware where she served on the faculty for over 20 years.

Her research is focused on the relationship between lower extremity structure, mechanics and injury. Her research also extends to the development of interventions to alter faulty mechanics through gait retraining. She has been studying the use of wearable sensors in both the evaluation and treatment of injured runners. Her interests also include the effect of minimal footwear on mechanics and injury.   Dr. Davis has received funding from the Department of Defense, and National Institutes of Health to support her research.  She has given over 350 lectures both nationally and internationally and authored 160 publications on the topic of lower extremity mechanics during walking and running gait. She has been named one of the 50 Most Influential People in Running.  She is a Fellow and Past President of the American Society of Biomechanics, and the 2019 ASB Borelli award winner.  She is also a Fellow, past Vice President and current President-Elect of the American College of Sports Medicine and the.  Finally, she is a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Dr. Davis is excited to join USF, America’s fastest rising university, one of the fastest rising DPT programs as well, both breaking into the top 50 with U.S. News and World Report in recent years.  She has a history of helping programs to continue to grow as she was a founding faculty member for the University of Delaware DPT program, which become a number one program and while at Harvard she helped to develop an integrated clinical and research center. After meeting with both Dr. Lockwood, Senior VP USF Health and Dean, Morsani College of Medicine (MCOM) and Dr. Haladay the School Director and Associate Dean, MCOM she realized this was the perfect fit for her next chapter of her career.

Her goals while at USF include conducting clinically relevant research on the relationship between lower extremity mechanics and musculoskeletal injuries, develop an integrated clinical and research center to address running-related musculoskeletal injuries, and to help mentor junior faculty in their research careers to optimize their professional success.

Lastly, one of her favorite sayings from Betty White on her upcoming 100th Birthday “If you live your life without passion, you leave no footprints.”