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Topp Tapped to Chair Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science

Kimberly S. Topp, PT, PhD, has been appointed as the chair of the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, according to Sam Hawgood, MB, BS, interim dean of the UCSF School of Medicine.

Topp has served as interim chair since July 2007, when Chair Nancy Byl, PT, PhD, transitioned to an emerita faculty position.

As chair of the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, Topp will continue to oversee the physical therapy faculty practices currently located on the Mount Zion campus, as well as the Physical Therapy Health and Wellness Program on the Mission Bay campus. Topp will also continue to oversee the UCSF components of the professional doctor of physical therapy training programs with San Francisco State University (SFSU) and Fresno State University and the UCSF/SFSU doctor of physical therapy science clinical research training program.

Topp holds joint appointments as professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science and in the Department of Anatomy, and is the UCSF director of the UCSF/SFSU Graduate Program in Physical Therapy.

Topp also co-directs the Neurobehavioral Core for Rehabilitation Research, a Universitywide core for rehabilitation education and sensory, motor and behavioral testing of murine models of disease. Her research focuses on peripheral nerve biology and biomechanics, and she has a particular interest in chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.

She received her BS degree in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University and her PhD degree in anatomy and cell biology from the University of California, Davis. Topp completed postdoctoral training in neurobiology at UCSF and joined the Anatomy faculty in 1993 and the Physical Therapy faculty in 1994.

Topp is a member of the UCSF Academy of Medical Educators, and holds the Sexton Sutherland Endowed Chair in Human Anatomy. She teaches anatomy and neurobiology in the physical therapy curriculum and directs gross anatomy in the medical school curriculum.

She has received the UCSF Faculty Mentorship Award and the Henry J. Kaiser Award for Excellence in Teaching. Nationally, Topp is a member of the board of the American Association of Anatomists and chair of the Winter Conference on Brain Research.