William Werner received his doctoral training at Teacher’s College, Columbia University where he learned movement analysis and motor learning under a leader in the field, Ann Gentile, PhD. As an additional benefit of attending Columbia University, he was able to work with leading neurologists (including Dr. Lucien Cote) who specialized in movement disorders (including Parkinson’s disease) and assisted with understanding the disease and provided mentorship throughout his dissertation research. He also volunteered in a Movement Disorder Clinic at North Shore University Hospital alongside Dr. Andrew Feigin, where he furthered his training in Parkinson’s disease. As a physical therapist who has worked with people with Parkinson’s disease for more than 25 years, Werner has an extensive knowledge base that serves him well when interacting with this population, including areas such as communication, keeping the subjects safe, designing experiments with the potential to have a positive impact, and lastly providing clinical interpretation of the data.

Werner’s research has focused on improving overall health and fitness of people with Parkinson’s disease: increasing retention of gait and balance improvements and the interaction between autonomic nervous function and dietary supplements. These experiments have yielded 19 publications, of which he was the principal investigator on three. He was the principal investigator of one grant and was a co-investigator on two grants for experiments, all involving people with Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, he was co-investigator on a grant involving the health of students in medical school.

Werner’s education and experience has set a solid foundation for teaching in a way that comes from personal experience, allowing him to draw on many anecdotes to illustrate a point, while using evidence-based information to solidify the information.

Recent Projects/Research

  • Upper body compression on muscle 02 saturation in esport players. Submitted to IRB with Joanne Donoghue as principal investigator
  • Calf compression and the impact on muscle O2 saturation in esports. Submitted to IRB with Joanne Donoghue as principal investigator
  • Efficiency of gait under conditions of Parkinsonian gait both cued and cued.” Literature review.
  • “Esports Players, Got Muscle? Competitive video game players’ physical activity, body fat, bone mineral content and muscle mass in comparison to matched controls”
  • Physiological responses to exercise in Parkinson’s disease. Literature review.

Selected Publications

  • Blood flow restriction resistance training in a recreationally active person with Parkinson's disease. J.Physiother Theory Pract. 2020 May 13:1-9. Douris PC, D'Agostino N, Werner WG, Petrizzo J, DiFrancisco-Donoghue
  • Acute changes in sagittal plane kinematics while wearing a novel belt device during treadmill running. Sports Biomechics 2019 Nov 14:1-13Greenberg ET, Garcia MC, Galante J, Werner WG.
  • Utilizing wearable technology to increase physical activity in future physicians: A randomized trial.Prev Med Rep. 2018 Sep 11;12:122-127. DiFrancisco-Donoghue J, Jung MK, Stangle A, Werner WG, Zwibel H, Happel P, Balentine J.
  • “Influence of cueing, feedback and directed attention on cycling in a virtual environment: Preliminary Findings in Healthy Adults and Persons with Parkinson’s Disease.” IEEE. 2015: 11-17. 2015 Gallagher R, Damodaran H, Werner, W, Deutsch, JE
  • "Learning Effects of the Sensory Organization Test in Parkinsons Disease” Parkinsonism & Related Disorders Electronically published May 14, 2015. DiFrancisco-Donoghue, J., Jung, M. and Werner, W.G.
  • “Parkinsonian Gait Ameliorated with a Moving Handrail, Not With A Banister” Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation April, 2015 Rabin, E., DiFrancisco-Donoghue, J. and Werner, W.G.
  • "Effects of Tyrosine on Parkinson’s Disease: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial" Movement Disorders Clinical Practice October 23, 2014 DiFrancisco-Donoghue, J., Rabin, E., Lamberg, E. and Werner, W.G.
  • "Haptic feedback from manual contact improves balance control in people with Parkinson’s disease”Gait and Posture July, 2013 Rabin, E, Chen, J, Muratori, L, DiFrancisco-Donoghue, J, Werner, W.G.

Honors + Awards

  • Health Care Heroes Award, Long Island Business News, Nov. 27, 2012
  • Award for Outstanding Teaching, School of Health Professions, 2005-2006

Courses Taught at New York Tech

  • PHTH 605: Kinesiology
  • PHTH 630: Motor Learning
  • PHTH 607: Neuroscience
  • PHTH 610: Biomechanics
  • PHTH 675: Physical Therapy Practice III- Pediatrics
  • PHTH 625: PT Practice I-Therapeutic Exercise Lab Instructor
  • PHTH 602: Evidence-based Physical Therapy

Contact Info