PT, PhD, NCS
Northern Arizona University
Physical Therapy, Flagstaff Campus
Petra Williams PT PhD
Board Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist
Dr. Williams is a neurorehabilitation physical therapist and
in clinical practice since 1994 working with adults after brain injury and
spinal cord injury. Her research
interests include movement training/re-training strategies that enhance human
performance and functional change and the task specificity of neural
adaptations associated with different training and exercise approaches. Dr. Williams is passionate about teaching and
using evidence-based strategies to enhance student success and learning in the
classroom and clinic. Dr. Williams has been a full-time physical therapy
educator since 2005 and joined the NAU faculty in 2013. When not at NAU, Dr. Williams is a Level III
classifier for the United States Quadriplegic Rugby Association and also enjoys
long-distance backpacking with her husband Eric in Grand Canyon and along the
Education and Certifications
Doctor of Philosophy, Biological Sciences, Comparative and
Exercise Physiology Program with an emphasis in Neuromuscular Physiology, Ohio
Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical
Therapy, American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties 2006-2016
Master of Science, Neurological Rehabilitation, Ohio State
Certificate in Physical Therapy, Ohio State University, 1994
Bachelor of Arts, History and Literature of Religions,
Northwestern University, 1991
Teaching Areas / Courses Taught
PT 550 Pathophysiology Basis of Physical Therapy Practice
PT 560 Neurosciences
PT 511 Normal Human Gait: Observational Movement Analysis
PT 611 Abnormal Gait: Observational Movement Analysis
PT 601 Integrated Clinical Education
PT 635 Neurophysiologic Therapeutics I
PT 636 Neurophysiologic Therapeutics II
Select Publications / Professional Presentations
Carter VA, Wing KT, Gatewood KK, Williams PS. The value of physical therapist directed
intensive whole body rehabilitation for patients with moderate to severe
hemiparesis after stroke: a retrospective case series. Accepted poster IVSTEP conference July 2016.
Williams PS, Hoffman RL, Clark BC. Cortical and spinal
mechanisms of task failure of sustained submaximal fatiguing contractions. PLoS
One. 2014 Mar 25;9(3):e93284. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0093284.
Williams PS, Hoffman RL, Clark BC. Preliminary evidence that
anodal transcranial direct current stimulation enhances time to task failure of
a sustained submaximal contraction. PLoS One. 2013 Dec 9;8(12):e81418. doi:
Clark BC, Manini TM, Kushnick MR, Williams PS, Hoffman RL.
Blood flow restricted resistance exercise training with low-mechanical loads: A
novel rehabilitation strategy to promote muscle growth and strength. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science
in Sports. 2011; 21(5):653-62.
Williams PS, Clark BC. Electromyography in the 21st century:
from voluntary signals to motor evoked potentials. IN: Biomechanics Principles, Trends, and
Applications. Ed. Levy JH. Nova Science 2009.
Williams PS, Basso DM, Case-Smith J, Nichols-Larsen DS.
Development of the Hand Active Sensation Test: Reliability and Validity.
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2006;87:1471-7.