Peter William Shapiro Chair
Director of Research & Education, UCLA Center for Cerebral Palsy
Dr. Fowler is a Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She received her degree in Physical Therapy from Northeastern University in Boston and her PhD in Kinesiology from UCLA with a major in Biomechanics and a minor in Motor Control. She holds the Peter William Shapiro Chair and is the Director of Research and Education for the Center for Cerebral Palsy at UCLA and the Director of the Kameron Gait and Motion Analysis Laboratory. She is a faculty member in the Tarjan Center for Disabilities at UCLA, a University Center of Excellence, and the Center for Duchenne Muscuar Dystrophy at UCLA.
Dr. Fowler has over 30 years experience in the evaluation and treatment of pediatric onset disabilities. She was a co-founder of the Center for Cerebral Palsy at UCLA, a multi-disciplinary program to meet the medical needs of children and adults. Her research examines the effect of exercise, pharmacological and surgical interventions on spasticity, strength, gait and function. She was lead investigator for a multi-site study: Pediatric Endurance and Limb Strengthening (PEDALS) for children with CP as part of PTClinResNet funded by the Foundation for Physical Therapy. A focus of her current research is reduced selective motor control in CP. Her team developed the Selective Control Assessment of the Lower Extremity (SCALE), a clinical assessment. In addition, her team uses dynamic systems modeling, biomechanical models and robotics to identify selective motor control strategies during gait. Her current research explores the effect of selective motor control intervenitons on motor function and corticospinal tract integrity, using brain imaging technology. Other areas of research in CP include gaming technology for children with dyskinetic CP and Women’s Health.
Dr. Fowler is the President of the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine for 2015-2016. She is an Associate Editor for Pediatric Physical Therapy. She received the Jack Walker Award from the American Physical Therapy Association for the best clinical research article in Physical Therapy, which refuted the premise that strengthening exercise performance increases spasticity in children with CP (2001). She received the Research Award from the American Physical Therapy Association Section on Pediatrics (2006) and the White Swan Award from the AbilitiesFirst Foundation (2003).