Christine Clarkin

  • Assistant Professor
  • PT, DPT, PhD
  • Phone: 401.874.2998
  • Email:
  • Office Location: Independence Square, Room 103


Christine Clarkin, PT, DPT, PhD received her B.S. degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Vermont in 1987 and her DPT from Simmons University in Boston in 2010. She received her PhD in the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program at the University of Rhode Island in 2020. She has worked as a physical therapist, senior therapist, clinical education coordinator, and clinic director in a variety of settings including acute care, acute rehab, and home health care settings. Her experience has been across all diagnoses with a focus on neurologic impairments, amputee, and burn and wound care.

“My professional mission as a physical therapist, neuroscientist, professor, and researcher is to improve the life of people living with neurologic injury and neurodegenerative disease. It is this mission that motivated me as a clinician to return to school to receive my PhD in neuroscience in 2020 and pursue a career in research and teaching at URI. Applied principles of neuroplasticity are very much the cornerstone of physical therapy behavioral interventions and I am specifically interested in experience dependent neuroplasticity and how this presents as a neurobiological or structural change with associated behavioral implications. This broad mission guides my research agenda, teaching topics and methods, and professional service/community outreach.” – Dr. Christine Clarkin


Applied principles of neuroplasticity are very much the cornerstone of physical therapy behavioral interventions. Dr. Clarkin’s research interest is focused on neuroscience and neurodegenerative diseases, specifically experience dependent neuroplasticity and the role therapy can take in shaping the rehabilitation of individuals with neurologic and neurodegenerative diseases.

Current Research:

Validation of Wearable Technology in People with Parkinson’s disease

Changes in neurotrophic factors as a biomarker in response to exercise in people with Parkinson’s disease

Effects of Assisted vs. Traditional Cycling in a cohort of Healthy Adults

Effects of Assisted vs. Traditional Cycling in a cohort of People with Parkinson’s disease

Effectiveness of student-led community-based Parkinson’s Exercise Program (PEG) on improving function and quality of life of individuals living with Parkinson’s disease (funded in part by a grant from the Parkinson’s Foundation)

EMPOWER PD – Development and Feasibility of an Interdisciplinary “boot-camp” style clinic for People Living with Parkinson’s Disease (funded in part by an Advanced- CTR Pilot Study Grant supported by the Idea-CTR grant U54GM115677) 

Completed Research:

LSVT BIG Exercise-Induced Neuroplasticity in People with Parkinson’s Disease


  • PhD, University of Rhode Island 2020
  • DPT, Simmons University, 2010
  • B.S. Physical Therapy, University of Vermont, 1987

Teaching Responsibility:

  • NEU 503 Introduction to Neuroscience
  • PHT 511 Neuroscience and Neuroanatomy
  • PHT 536 Pathophysiology: Implications for Physical Therapy
  • PHT 610 Evidence Based Inquiry I
  • PHT 620 Evidence Based Inquiry II
  • PHT 630 Evidence Based Inquiry III
  • PHT 640 Evidence Based Inquiry IV

Selected Publications

  • Weyandt LL, Gudmundsdottir BG, Shepard E, Brick L, Buchanan A, Clarkin C, Francis A, Marraccini M. Nonmedical Prescription Opioid Use among a Sample of College Students: Prevalence and Predictors. Pharmacy. 2021; 9(2):106.
  • Lisa L Weyandt, Christine M Clarkin, Emily Z Holding, Shannon E May, Marisa E Marraccini, Bergljot Gyda Gudmundsdottir, . . . Lauren Thompson. (2020). Neuroplasticity in children and adolescents in response to treatment intervention: A systematic review of the literature. Clinical and Translational Neuroscience, 4, Clinical and Translational Neuroscience, 2020-12-01, Vol.4. 
  • Marraccini, M.E, Brick, L.A., Weyandt, L.L., Francis, A., Clarkin, C., &F Fang, Y. (2019). Effects of Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors on Sexual Risk Taking through Emotional Control. Journal of Affective Disorders.