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Physical Therapy Program Announces Speaker for 2018 Irma Ruebling Distinguished Speaker Series

Sandra Billinger, PT, PhD, FAHA, will be the featured speaker at the 2018 Irma Ruebling Distinguished Speaker Series hosted by the Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy. Dr. Billinger will give her presentation, #ForTheLoveOfScience: A Clinician-Scientist’s Journey, on Thursday, March 22 from 5:30 – 7 PM in the Allied Health Professions Building Room 1043 on Saint Louis University’s South Campus.

Dr. Billinger is an associate professor at the University of Kansas where she teaches in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation; she also has a joint appointment in the University of Kansas School of Medicine in the Department of Neurology and in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology. Dr. Billinger has practiced as a physical therapist since 2004 in the areas of cardiopulmonary and neurological rehabilitation. She has delivered numerous lectures related to exercise testing and interventions in the stroke population and she currently serves as director of the Research in Exercise and Cardiovascular Health (REACH) Laboratory at the KU Medical Center. Dr. Billinger's research interests are aimed at examining the cardiovascular and pulmonary changes that occur in people with chronic disease specifically after stroke. She is interested in understanding the cellular mechanisms that influence vascular function after stroke and how exercise, as a therapeutic intervention may affect vascular health.

Sandra Billinger

Sandra Billinger, PT, Ph.D., FAHA

Saint Louis University Assistant Professor in Physical Therapy Dave Gutekunst, MS, PhD, is very excited to have Dr. Billinger as the featured speaker at the Irma Ruebling Distinguished Speaker Series.

“Dr. Billinger is a recognized expert in cardiopulmonary and neurological rehabilitation, and an emerging leader within national and international organizations,” Dr. Gutekunst said. “On a personal level, I’ve been struck by Dr. Billinger’s enthusiasm and the sense of mission in her work.”

Dr. Gutekunst went on to explain the Ruebling Speaker Series ties together three important aspects of a healthcare practitioner or student’s work.

“One of the fundamental goals of the annual Irma Ruebling Distinguished Speaker Series is to highlight the synergistic relationships among clinical education, physical therapy practice, and scientific research,” Dr. Gutekunst said. “The audience can look forward to an engaging account of a leading clinician-scientist’s journey, and how her research weaves through her teaching and clinical practice.”

The Irma Ruebling Distinguished Speaker Series is named in honor of Irma Ruebling – former chairperson of the Program in Physical Therapy. Ruebling had a vision to bring nationally renowned speakers to Saint Louis University to present current physical therapy scholarship and how it relates to clinical practice. In addition to meeting with faculty and clinicians in the community, each year’s distinguished speaker leads a question-and-answer session with the Doctor of Physical Therapy students.

Learn more about the SLU Program in Physical Therapy.

Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of nearly 13,000 students on two campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good.