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Dr. Jill Heathcock

Assistant Professor                                                              

Director of the Infant Lab at Ohio State University

Contact Information:

Jill C. Heathcock, MPT, PhD
516 Atwell Hall
The Ohio State University
453 West Tenth Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
Telephone: 614-292-2397
Fax: 614-292-0210


The University of Dayton
Exercise Science and Pre-PT 
BS, 1998

The University of Delaware
Physical Therapy                                           
MPT, 2001
The University of Delaware
Biomechanics and Movement Science
PhD, 2006

The University of Michigan
Infant Motor Development
Post-Doctoral Fellowship

Clinical Expertise:

Motor development

Teaching Responsibilities:


Professional Activities:

Member, American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
Member, Society for Neuroscience 
Member, North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA)
Member, International Society for Infant Studies (ISIS)

Scholarly Activity:

My scholarship focuses on how young infants learn to use their spontaneous movements to control and interact with their environment. I am specifically interested in developing evidence-based intervention programs for very young infants at risk for long-term movement impairment and disability.  My work (so far) has focused on infants born premature, infants with Spina bifida, and infants with neonatal stroke. Currently, I am involved in projects that look at the effects of training early gross motor skills, such as reaching, in infants at risk for cerebral palsy, and how enhanced sensory input influences lower extremity coordination on a treadmill in infants at risk for cerebral palsy and infants with Spina bifida. In addition, I am involved in several collaborative projects with Nationwide Children’s Hospital investigating high dosing protocols for children cerebral palsy, transcranial​ magnetic stimulation as a possible intervention for children with hemiparesis, and early assessment of infants with complex congenital heart defects. Please visit my lab website for more information about ongoing projects infantlab.osu.edu and email me if you have a baby or child who qualifies for one of our studies.

2014 The Ohio State University Senate
2013 The Association of American Medical Colleges Early Career Woman Faculty Professional Development            Seminar
2011 School of Allied Medical Professions Research Award

2006 Dissertation Award, Pediatrics Section APTA
2005 Dorothy Briggs Memorial Scientific Inquiry Award, APTA


1.     Heathcock JC(1), Christensen C, Bush K, Butler M, Buehner JJ, Basso DM. Treadmill Training Following Surgical Removal of a Spinal Tumor in Infancy. Phys Ther. 2014 Apr 17. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24742704

2.     Kolobe, TH, Gannotti ME, Christy, JB, Heathcock JC. Research Summit III Proceedings on Dosing in Children with and Injured Brain or Cerebral Palsy.  Physical Therapy Journal. 2014. Feb 13 [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 24525862

3.     Carey, H, Heathcock JC. Clinical Bottom Line of Plyometric Training: Effectiveness and Optimal Duration of Training for Children with Unilateral Cerebral Palsy. Pediatric Physical Therapy. Summer 26 (2) 179, 2014. PMID: 24675115

4.     Gannotti ME, Christy JB, Heathcock, JC, Kolobe, TH. A Path Model for Evaluating Dosing Parameters for Children with Cerebral Palsy. Physical Therapy Journal. March 2014. In press. PMID: 24231231

5.     Chen, CY, Lo, W and Heathcock, JC. Neonatal Stroke results in poor midline performance and poor motor skill development. Research in Developmental Disabilities.  2013 Mar;34(3):1011-7. PMID: 23291519

6.     Hendershot, S and Heathcock JC. Clinical Bottom Line for Validity of the Muscle Power Sprint Test in Ambulatory Children with Cerebral Palsy. Pediatric Physical Therapy. 2013 Spring;25(1):29. PMID: 23288004

7.     Briggs, M and Heathcock JC. Clinical Bottom Line for Reference Values for the Muscle Power Sprint Test in 6- to 12-Year-Old Children. Pediatric Physical Therapy. 2012 Winter; 24(4): 388. PMID:22965204

8.     Goodrich, N and Heathcock JC. Commentary on Comparison of Motor and Cognitive Performance in Infants during the First Year of Life. Pediatric Physical Therapy. 2012 Summer; 24(2): 198. PMCID: In Process

9.     Lane, A, Harpster, K and Heathcock JC.  Motor characteristics of young children referred for possible autism spectrum disorder.  Pediatric Physical Therapy. 2012 Spring; 24 (1):21-9. PMID:22207461

10.  Heathcock JC. Assessment of bilateral function in children with upper extremity dysfunction.  Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. 2011 53 (1): May 393. PMID:21480872

11.  Heathcock JC. Invited Commentary on "Gastrocnemius-Soleus Muscle Tendon Unit Changes Over the First 12 Weeks of Adjusted Age in Infants Born Preterm".  Physical Therapy Journal.  89 (2). 2009 February: e1. PMID:19181676

12.  Heathcock, JC and Galloway, JC. Exploring Objects With Feet Advances Movement in Infants Born Preterm: A Randomized Controlled Trial.  Physical Therapy Journal. 89 (10). 2009 October: 1027-38. PMID:19713268

13.  Heathcock JC, Lobo M, Galloway JC. Movement Training Advances the Emergence of Reaching in Infants Born at Less Than 33 Weeks of Gestational Age: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Physical Therapy Journal. 2008 March; 88(3): 310 – 322. PMID:18096650

14.  Heathcock JC, Bhat AN, Lobo MA, and Galloway JC. The relative kicking frequency of infants born full-term and preterm during learning, short-term and long-term memory periods of the mobile paradigm. Physical Therapy Journal.  2005 January; 85(1):8-18. PMID:15623358

15.  Bhat A, Heathcock JC, and Galloway JC. Toy-oriented changes in hand and joint kinematics during the emergence of purposeful reaching.  Infant Behavior and Development.  2005; 28: 445-465. PMCID: 17138291

16.  Galloway JC, Bhat A, Heathcock JC, and Manal K. Shoulder and elbow joint power differ as a general feature of vertical arm movements. Experimental Brain Research. 2004 Aug; 157(3):391-396. PMID:15252703

17.  Heathcock JC, Bhat AN, Lobo MA, and Galloway JC. The performance of infants born preterm and full-term in the mobile paradigm: learning and memory. Physical Therapy Journal. 2004 Sep; 84(9):808-21. PMID:15330694

Fun Facts:

I went to the University of Dayton for Undergrad where I met my husband. We have 4 kids, Lillian, Simon, Zia, and Corina. All of the kids have been enrolled as research subjects in my lab!