Our Professors

Dr. Alice Aiken
Vice President Research and Innovation

BSc (Ottawa), BScPT (Dal), MSc, PhD (Queen's), CD

Office: Room 200, Henry Hicks Building
Tel: (902) 494-6513

A proud Dal alumna (BSc'94 in Physiotherapy), Professor Alice Aiken, PhD, MSc, BScPT, BSc is past President of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and spent 10 years as a faculty member in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy at Queens University. A veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces (serving first as a ship's navigator in the Royal Canadian Navy, then as a physiotherapist), her research in health services and health policy has a unique focus on veterans and their families.

Dr. Aiken is co-founder and former Scientific Director of the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research, a consortium of over 40 Canadian and seven international universities, and her awards and honours include the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal and induction into the Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

Dr. Aiken is an exceptional team-builder, passionate about university research and has a strong understanding of Canada's broader research landscape. Her ability to engage across disciplines and build strategic partnerships will serve her well in helping Dalhousie expand its reach and impact as one of Canada's leading research institutions.

Dr. Shaun Boe
Associate Professor
Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Health
Faculty Coordinator, PhD in Health


Hon BPhEd (Kin) (Brock), PhD (UWO), MPT (UWO)
Office: Room 429, Forrest Building
Tel: (902) 494-6360

Dr. Boe completed his undergraduate degree in 2002 from Brock University (Hon BPhEd in Kinesiology), followed by graduate and clinical training at the University of Western Ontario (PhD Kinesiology, 2006; MPT, 2008). Prior to joining the School of Physiotherapy at Dalhousie University in 2010, he completed postdoctoral training through the Heart and Stroke Foundation Centre for Stroke Recovery (HSFCSR) at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and the Rotman Research Institute. Read more on Dr. Boe and his research.

Gail Creaser

BScPT (Dal), MA (Ed) (MSV)

Office: Room 307, Forrest Building
Tel: (902) 494-7736

A physiotherapist with over 30 years of experience in adult neurological rehabilitation within the public healthcare system. Gail Creaser is a creative and collaborative partner in inter-professional health education within the Faculty of Health. She is a skilled clinician with Canadian and international experience and is committed to teaching evidence-based care.
Dr. Sandra Curwin
Associate Professor

BSc (Dal), MSc (Dal), PhD (University of California)

Office: Room 409, Forrest Building
Phone: (902) 494-7735

Dr. Curwin is originally from Moncton, New Brunswick. After studying physiotherapy at Dalhousie, she started one of the first private physiotherapy practices in Atlantic Canada in 1979, before returning to graduate school at Dalhousie (MSc in Kinesiology, Biomechanics) and UCLA (PhD in Kinesiology, Connective Tissue Physiology).

Dr. Curwin's clinical experience and collaboration with colleague Dr. William Stanish led them to develop the "eccentric exercise program" for repetitive strain injuries that is now the accepted standard worldwide for treating chronic tendinopathies such as tennis elbow and Achilles tendinopathy.

Dr. Curwin has held academic positions in both the United States and Canada. She is a licensed physiotherapist in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and California and continues to be active in clinical practice.
Dr. Gail Dechman
Assistant Professor

BScPT (Queens), PhD (McGill)

Office: Room 430, Forrest Building
Tel: (902) 494-2734

Dr. Gail Dechman joined the School of Physiotherapy at Dalhousie University in September 2006. She completed her BSc in Physiotherapy at Queen’s University and received her PhD in respiratory physiology from McGill University. Prior to joining the faculty at Dalhousie University she held faculty positions at McGill University and at Husson College in Bangor, Maine. Dr. Dechman also worked for three years as the Centre Director of the Kuwait-Dalhousie Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Project, the goal of which was to improve the standard of rehabilitation care in the state of Kuwait through education, service, and research.

Dr. Dechman has extensive clinical experience in cardio-respiratory physical therapy, with an emphasis in ICU care and cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation. Currently she teaches courses in exercise physiology, cardiorespiratory care and research methods.
Dr. Marie Earl
Assistant Professor
Graduate Coordinator, MSc-PT

BScPT (UWO), MSc, PhD (Waterloo)

Office: Room 303, Forrest Building
Tel: (902) 494-2633

Dr. Marie Earl (BSc Physiotherapy, University of Western Ontario) completed her doctoral work on the neuromuscular control of posture and movement at the University of Waterloo (PhD Kinesiology). At the School of Physiotherapy, Dalhousie University, her teaching and research activities focus on exercise techniques to reduce falling and improve function of seniors who have balance problems. Changes in muscle and sensory function can have major effects on a person’s mobility. By applying better knowledge of muscle and sensory systems to clinical assessment and treatment options, Dr. Earl is working to find better ways to protect or restore balance and mobility of people whose health is threatened by inactivity, illness, or injury.


Dr. Katherine Harman
Associate Professor,
Vice Chair Senate (Student Affairs)

BScPT (Toronto), MSc (Ottawa), PhD (Carleton)

Office: Room 406, Forrest Building
Tel: (902) 494-8820

Dr. Harman's research interest is in the study of pain from prevention of chronicity to the management of chronic pain – a recurring research theme throughout her career.
Dr. Scott Kehler
Assistant Professor
Affiliate Scientist, Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine

BPE , BKin, MSc, PhD (UofM)

Office: Room 402, Forrest Building
Tel: (902) 494-2822


Scott joined the School of Physiotherapy team at Dalhousie University in September 2019. He completed his graduate training at the University of Manitoba in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management Master’s degree program in 2012 and the Applied Health Sciences PhD program in 2017. He also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Dalhousie University in the Division of Geriatric Medicine before starting his appointment in Physiotherapy.

Scott’s research focuses on the clinical and epidemiological aspects of frailty and aging, with a special interest in patients living with cardiovascular disease. In particular, he studies the impact of physical activity and sedentary behaviours for the prevention and treatment of frailty.

Dr. Cheryl Kozey
Professor, Co–Director of the Dynamics of Human Motion Laboratory
Cross-appointments: School of Biomedical Engineering (BME), School of Health and Human Performance Nova Scotia Health Authority Affiliate Scientist, Department of Surgery

BPE (UNB) MSc (Waterloo), PhD (Dal)

Office: Room 316B, Forrest Building
Tel: (902) 494-2635


Dr. Kozey's research is focused on bone and joint disorders (musculoskeletal), specifically lower back disorders and osteoarthritis: two of the most prevalent and costly healthcare problems worldwide with particular relevance to Nova Scotia.  A healthy musculoskeletal system is vital for mobility and physical function.  The ultimate goal of Dr. Kozey's research is to impact the health of Nova Scotians and have a global impact as this problem is highly prevalent in other industrialized nations.

Dr. Marilyn MacKay-Lyons
Graduate Coordinator, MScRR-PT

BScPT (Toronto), MScPT (USC), PhD (Dal)

Office: Room 405, Forrest Building
Tel: (902) 494-2632

Dr. Marilyn MacKay-Lyons specializes in neurotherapeutics - the application of physiotherapy principles and techniques to improve the mobility and function of people with such neurological disorders. She has spent more than 30 years in this field as a clinician, researcher and educator.
Dr. MacKay-Lyons received her BSc (Physical Therapy) from the University of Toronto, her MSc (Physical Therapy) from the University of Southern California, and her PhD (Physiology) from Dalhousie University. Currently she is an Associate Professor in the School of Physiotherapy at Dalhousie University, is an affiliated scientist at the Capital District Health Authority, and holds cross-appointments with the Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University and the IWK Health Centre. She is on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Stroke Network and serves as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia and Associate Editor of Physiotherapy Canada.

Dr. Rebecca Moyer
Assistant Professor

BScH(Queen's), BPHE(Queen's),MPT(Western), PhD(Western)

Tel: (902) 494-2028
Office: Room 316C, Forrest Building

Dr. Moyer’s clinical research program is focused on individuals with musculoskeletal conditions with a specialization in rehabilitative and surgical interventions for patients with osteoarthritis. Her work consists of various research designs that incorporate clinical gait biomechanics, radiographic, performance-based and patient-reported outcomes to improve mobility and activities of daily living. Dr. Moyer’s interests also include imaging outcome measures of disease progression using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – derived measures of knee and hip morphology, and their use in clinical research methods. This research aims to clarify the relationships between mechanical, biological and structural markers of osteoarthritis progression, how these markers differ across patients with osteoarthritis and how they respond to novel strategies. Read more on Dr. Moyer and her research.

Dr. Derek Rutherford
Associate Professor
Associate Director
Hon BSc (UWO), BScPT (Toronto), MSc (Rehabilitation Research) (Dal), PhD (Dal)

Office: Room 417, Forrest Building
Tel: (902) 494-2616

Dr. Derek Rutherford obtained undergraduate degrees in Kinesiology (University of Western Ontario) and Physical Therapy (University of Toronto) before completing his MSc in Rehabilitation Research and PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Dalhousie University. Dr. Rutherford is an Assistant professor in the Schools of Physiotherapy, Biomedical Engineering and Health and Human Performance at Dalhousie University and affiliate scientist with the Department of Surgery: Orthopaedics, at Capital Health.
Dr. Rutherford specializes in quantifying mechanics and muscle activation characteristics of lower extremity injury and disease to develop and evaluate conservative and surgical management strategies and is the lead researcher in the newly established Joint Action Research laboratory in the School of Physiotherapy.

Dr. Olga Theou
Canada Research Chair
Assistant Director
BSc (Greece), MSc (USA), PhD (UWO)

Office: Room 316A, Forrest Building
Tel: (902) 494-4248

Prior to joining the School of Physiotherapy in 2019, Dr. Olga Theou was an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Dalhousie University. She is cross appointed with the Department of Medicine at Dalhousie University and continues to be an Affiliated Scientist of Geriatric Medicine with the Nova Scotia Health Authority and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer of Medicine with the University of Adelaide, Australia. She obtained her BSc in Physical Education and Sports Sciences at Aristotle University in Greece, MSc in Gerokinesiology from the California State University in Fullerton, and PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences with specialization in Health and Aging from Western University. She also completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the University of British Columbia Okanagan at the Department of Human Kinetics, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at Dahousie University. Her research interests include aging, frailty and physical activity.