Neurobiologist to lead SAHP physical therapy department

Jack Turman Jr., Ph.D., an internationally recognized developmental neurobiologist, has been named director of physical therapy (PT) education in the School of Allied Health Professions (SAHP) at UNMC, effective July 1.

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Jack Turman, Ph.D.
Since 2002, Dr. Turman has served as founder and director of the Center for Premature Infant Health and Development at the University of Southern California (USC) Keck School of Medicine.

"Dr. Turman brings more than 25 years of clinical and academic experience to the position," said Kyle Meyer, Ph.D., associate dean of SAHP. "He has been associated with the top physical therapy school in the country and will further enhance our already outstanding PT program."

A native of Bakersfield, Calif., Dr. Turman began his career in the area of pediatric physical therapy. For the past 15 years he has been a faculty member at USC, which U.S. News & World Report has ranked as the top PT program since 2004.

Five things to know about Dr. Turman:

  • He studies nutrition intervention in the NICU and neurodevelopmental outcomes and his USC research associate, Kathleen Burke, Ph.D., will join him at UNMC;
  • He is an avid ice hockey fan, studies theology and enjoys traveling;
  • He and his wife, Janet, have two sons: Jack, 15, and James, 10;
  • He earned a Ph.D. and master of science in kinesiology at the University of California, Los Angeles and a bachelor of science degree in physical therapy at Washington University in St. Louis; and
  • He plans to build a center at UNMC similar to the one he founded at USC. He also wants to develop a PT residency program focused on sports medicine or orthopedics, develop greater integration of nutrition and public health and develop research that maximizes UNMC's strength in rural health and wellness programs.

Welcome reception

SAHP will host a reception Aug. 12 to introduce Dr. Turman to the UNMC community. Watch UNMC Today for details.

"I know what a great PT program looks like and UNMC, historically, has had a well respected and honored program," Dr. Turman said. "I appreciate the stability of the program and the hard work of those associated with it. There's a strong foundation from which to build.

"I am so impressed by the outstanding reputation UNMC has across the country. There is unanimous agreement that this is an academic medical center that has solid, outstanding researchers, educators and clinicians, and that there is great momentum moving UNMC upwards."


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Lynn Rogers
July 14, 2010 at 5:35 PM

We'll miss you here in California but at last I can root for my Penguins without the hassle. Do they have Duck's fans in Nebraska?