Sandra A Billinger

Associate Professor, KU Medical Center


    Sandra A Billinger, PT, PhD, FAHA (Fellow of the American Heart Association- Stroke Council)
    Director, Research in Exercise and Cardiovascular Health (REACH) laboratory
    Associate Professor
    Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science
    KU Medical Center
    Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist, ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine)
    Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults, APTA (American Physical Therapy Association)


    Dr. Sandra Billinger is a physical therapist (PT), PhD who has practiced for over 10 years. Dr. Billinger’s clinical experience has been in geriatrics, neurologic and cardiopulmonary physical therapy. Dr. Billinger has received continuous grant funding from internal and external funding sources including a 5-year NIH K01 training grant and an AHA Grant in Aid funded in 2016. These grants have focused on cardiovascular health, exercise-related interventions and how physical activity impacts stroke recovery. She has over 45 publications in peer-reviewed journals. She serves as past Chair, Stroke Rehabilitation and Recovery Committee for the AHA Stroke Council, is a member of the Oversight Advisory Committee for the ASA-Bugher Foundation Centers of Excellence in Stroke Collaborative Research and was the Writing Group Chair and lead author for updating the AHA Scientific Statement for Physical Activity and Exercise Recommendations for Stroke Survivors. She has served in various roles in the American Physical Therapy Association, including Chair for the Neurology section’s Health Promotion and Wellness Task Force.

    Dr. Billinger’s work focuses on the benefits of aerobic exercise across all stages of stroke recovery and recently has focused work on cerebrovascular health in older adults and those post-stroke. In 2012, her manuscript was awarded the Golden Synapse Award (Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy). In 2017, Dr. Billinger and her collaborators published the first manuscript to describe blood flow velocity kinetics from resting to moderate intensity exercise using transcranial Doppler ultrasound. The manuscript was selected by the journal’s Editor and Associate Editors for a moderated podcast
    Dr. Billinger was awarded the Early Career Achievement in Health Professions Alumna (2013), KU Medical Center and selected by the American Physical Therapy Association for the Margaret L. Moore Outstanding New Academic Faculty Member (2014). Dr. Billinger was nominated by the Doctor of Physical Therapy Class of 2016 and her peers for the Stata Norton Teaching Award and the KU Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Dr. Billinger was awarded both teaching awards in 2016. Dr. Billinger was chosen to be the first Edward and Thelma Wohlgemuth Faculty Scholar at the KU Medical Center campus (2016) and was awarded the AHA/ASA Stroke Council Lecture Award at Scientific Sessions in 2016.