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University of Iowa News Release


April 25, 2007

American Physical Therapy Association Honors Sluka

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has selected Kathleen Sluka (left), Ph.D., professor in the Graduate Program in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science in the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, as the 2007 recipient of APTA's Marian Williams Award for Research in Physical Therapy.

The award was established in 1963 to recognize individuals who have performed continuous and outstanding basic, clinical, and/or educational research pertaining to physical therapy. Recipients are selected for significant contributions to physical therapy through excellence in research. The award is named in honor of Marian Williams, a longtime faculty member at Stanford University who dedicated her life to promoting the profession of physical therapy through teaching, writing and research.

Sluka was chosen for her contributions to the scientific basis of physical therapy and muscle pain, frequently publishing and presenting scientific and professional studies, and demonstrating continuity of professional commitment to physical therapy.

A UI faculty member since 1996, Sluka is the director of the UI Neurobiology of Pain Laboratory and a faculty member in the UI Pain Research Program. She and her colleagues study the peripheral and central nervous system to learn more about neuronal responses to muscle and joint pain. In November 2006 she received a five-year, $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the role of acid-sensing ion channels in muscle using an animal model of fibromyalgia. The research will help investigators understand the mediators and molecules that initiate development of chronic muscle pain, which could lead to new treatment strategies aimed at treating musculoskeletal pain.

In 2005, Sluka was elected to the board of directors as councilor for the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). In addition to the IASP and the APTA, she also holds memberships in the American Pain Society and the Society for Neuroscience.

Sluka will receive the award at the APTA's annual conference and exposition June 29 in Denver, Colo.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5139 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: David Pedersen, 319-335-8032, Writer: Krystal Loewe