Associate Professor and DPT Program Director

Dr. Peters’ primary area of expertise concerns neural correlates of motor impairment and recovery, with an emphasis on walking function, after neurologic injury such as stroke and spinal cord injury. Her research focuses on brain-behavior relationships by utilizing MRI (diffusion tensor imaging), quantitative measures of motor function (EMG, kinetics), and clinical measures of impairment and activity. Dr. Peters has additional interests in neurologic rehabilitation strategies and outcome measure assessment.

Research and/or Creative Works

UVM's COBRE: Vermont Center for Cardiovascular & Brain Health (NIH/NIGMS); 2020-2025. Role: Project Director. Title: Investigation of Clinical, Blood, & Neuroimaging Biomarkers as Predictors of Independent Walking Post-Stroke.

UVM Office of the Vice President for Research, EXPRESS Grant; 2017-2018. Role: PI. Title: The Coupling of Upper and Lower Limb Force Production During Overground Walking in Community-Dwelling Older Adults.


Select Publications

  • Gell NM, Karlsson L, Brown H, Peters DM, Mroz TM. Bathroom modifications, clutter, and tripping hazards: prevalence and changes after incident falls in community-dwelling older adults. Journal of Aging and Health. 2020; 32(10): 1636-1644.
  • Kunker K, Peters DM, Mohapatra S. Long-term impact of mild Traumatic Brain Injury on postural stability and executive function. Neurological Sciences. 2020; 41(7): 1899-1907.
  • Thibaudier Y, Tan AQ, Peters DM, Trumbower RD. Differential deficits in spatial and temporal interlimb coordination during walking in persons with incomplete spinal cord injury. Gait & Posture. 2020; 75: 121-128.
  • Peters DM, Thibaudier Y, Deffeyes JE, Hayes HB, Baer G, Trumbower RD. Constraints on stance-phase force production during overground walking in persons with chronic incomplete spinal cord injury. Journal of Neurotrauma.2018; 35(3): 467-477.
  • Peters DM, Fridriksson J, Stewart JC, Richardson JD, Rorden C, Bonilha L, Middleton A, Gleichgerrcht E, Fritz SL. Cortical disconnection of the ipsilesional primary motor cortex is associated with gait speed and upper extremity motor impairment in chronic stroke. Human Brain Mapping. 2018; 39(1): 120-132.
  • Middleton A, Merlo AM, Peters DM, Greene JV, Blanck EL, Moran R, Fritz SL. Body weight supported treadmill training is no better than overground training for individuals with chronic stroke, a randomized control trial. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation. 2014; 21(6): 462-476.
  • Peters DM, Jain S, Liuzzo DM, Middleton A, Greene J, Blanck E, Sun S, Raman R, Fritz SL. Individuals with chronic traumatic brain injury improve walking speed and mobility with Intensive Mobility Training. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2014; 95(8): 1454-1460.
  • Reynolds AM, Peters DM, Vendemia JMC, Smith LP, Sweet RC, Baylis G, Krotish D, Fritz SL, Rorden C. Voxel-based lesion symptom mapping and motor impairment after stroke. Neural Regeneration Research. 2014; 9(7): 766-772.
  • Peters DM, McPherson AK, Fletcher B, McClenaghan BA, Fritz SL. Counting repetitions: an observational study of video game play in people with chronic poststroke hemiparesis. Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy. 2013; 37(3): 105-111.
  • Peters DM, Fritz SL, Krotish DE. Assessing the reliability and validity of a shorter walk test compared with the 10-Meter Walk Test for measurements of gait speed in healthy, older adults. Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy. 2013; 36(1): 24-30.

Awards and Recognition

  • National Institutes of Health Clinical Research (Extramural) Loan Repayment Program Award (2019-2021)

Associations and Affiliations

Denise Peters

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Neural correlates of motor impairment and recovery post-stroke, gait rehabilitation and neuromechanics, structural neuroimaging


  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Neurophysiology and Neurorehabilitation; Emory University
  • Ph.D., Exercise Science/Rehabilitation Sciences; University of South Carolina
  • D.P.T.; University of South Carolina
  • B.S., Psychology; University of Alabama-Birmingham


Courses Taught

  • DPT 411 - Movement System I
  • DPT 412 - Movement System II
  • DPT 424 - Neurological Management II
  • DPT 493/494/495 - Doctoral Research Project I / II / III