Sudarshan Dayanidhi, PT, PhD

Sudarshan Dayanidhi, PT, PhD

Research Scientist
Assistant Professor
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About Me

Developmental injuries such as those of either the central or peripheral nervous system have a significant impact on the function of the musculoskeletal system. They negatively affect childhood growth, quality of life, and the ability of these children to actively participate in their environment. Over the past 20 years I have worked both clinically as a pediatric physical therapist and as a researcher to understand musculoskeletal development and its dysfunction due to injuries to the nervous system at birth. To better enable me in this endeavor I have sought diverse training in pediatric physical therapy, mechanical engineering and biomechanics. My doctoral work in neuroscience, postdoctoral work in muscle physiology and metabolism are all related to childhood development. My current research focuses on:

  • A) The role of muscle stem cells dysfunction in impaired musculoskeletal growth in children with cerebral palsy and
  • B) The contribution of altered muscle metabolism to increased energy expenditure in children with cerebral palsy.


Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

355 East Erie

Chicago, IL 60611

Education & Training



    2007 - 2012
    Ph.D., Biokinesiology, University of Southern California
    2007 - 2010
    M.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Southern California
    2000 - 2003
    M.S., Pediatric Physical Therapy, Drexel University
    1995 - 1999
    B.Sc., Physical Therapy, University of Mumbai
    Postdoctoral Fellowship


    2012 - 2015
    Postdoctoral Fellowship, Muscle Physiology, University of California, San Diego

Recent Publications

Honors & Awards

  • GCMAS Best Paper Award
    Best paper in the 24th annual meeting of the Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society (GCMAS), 2014
  • Gayle G. Arnold Award for Excellence
    Best paper in the 67th annual meeting of the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM), 2013
  • Neuromuscular Plasticity Scholar
    Invited Poster at University of Florida Neuromuscular Plasticity Symposium, 2011

Professional Affiliations

  • Member
    American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, 2013

Research Interests

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Satellite Cells
  • Mitochondria
  • Pediatric Physical Therapy
  • Stem Cells

Selected Grants

  • National Institutes of Health
    R03 HD086585-01, 2015 - 2017

My Lab

Pediatric Muscle Physiology Lab

We study muscle stem cells in impaired musculoskeletal growth and muscle metabolism in children with cerebral palsy.

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Work History

  • 2015 - Present
    Research Scientist
    Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • 2012 - 2015
    Postdoctoral Research Associate
    Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, San Diego, CA
  • 2007 - 2012
    Graduate Assistant
    Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2003 - 2007
    Physical Therapist
    Motion Analysis Lab, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Philadelphia, PA