Dr. Shailesh Kantak PT, PhD, was recently awarded tenure at Arcadia University where he serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. This honor recognizes Dr. Kantak’s many accomplishments in both teaching and research over the past six years. In addition to his position at Arcadia University, Dr. Kantak directs the Neuroplasticity and Motor Behavior Laboratory at Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI). This joint appointment between MRRI and Arcadia University allows him to pursue his two passions: neurorehabilitation research and its translation to clinical practice.
Dr. Kantak is a clinician-scientist, educator, and thought leader in his field. His early clinical experience as a neurologic physical therapist led him to pursue translational research in neurorehabilitation. In the Neuroplasticity and Motor Behavior Laboratory, he conducts research focused on understanding the brain-behavior relationship for motor control and learning, with an overarching goal of advancing theory-driven, evidence-informed strategies to augment recovery in individuals with neuromuscular disorders. His current research, funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), Albert Einstein Society, and MRRI’s peer review committee, investigates behavioral and neural underpinnings of bimanual coordination as well as motor learning after stroke.
Dr. Kantak is extremely passionate about teaching and translating scientific principles emerging from neuroscience research into clinical practice. He teaches neuroscience and neurorehabilitation within the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) curriculum at Arcadia University. As part of an innovative, case-based DPT curriculum, he collaboratively teaches with other faculty in the department and clinicians in the community, many of whom are expert clinicians at MossRehab. He loves inspiring his students to contemplate the links between neuroscience and rehabilitation, which he believes this makes them wiser clinicians, critical thinkers, and life-long learners. His students admire his inspiring and engaging approach to teaching neuroscience and neurorehabilitation. In addition to teaching, Dr. Kantak also participates in collaborative research with other faculty at Arcadia University.
The joint position between MRRI and Arcadia university helps develop and foster researchers and teachers like Dr. Kantak. The dual responsibilities of teaching and research are often time-consuming and arduous. However, Dr. Kantak draws energy from his students, research assistants, and colleagues at both institutions. He labels them as the “essential ingredients” for his success. These synergistic partnerships between institutions are critical for long-term support and advancement of science as well as the translation of important research into clinical practice.