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Jill Whitall, PhD

Academic Title:


Primary Appointment:

Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science

Additional Title:

Co-director of the Neuromotor Core within the Baltimore Claude D. Pepper Independence for Older Americans Center and Co-director of the Motor Learning Core within the VA Maryland Exercise and Robotics Center of Excellence


AHB, 240F

Phone (Primary):


Phone (Secondary):

410.706.7308 (Rm 204)



Education and Training

  • Bachelors degree at Keele University, England
  • Masters degree at the University of London, England
  • PhD at the University of Maryland, College Park


Jill Whitall, is a professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science and Director of the PhD Physical Rehabilitation Science in the School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore. She also serves as a Co-Investigator in the VA Maryland Exercise and Robotic Center of Excellence.  Jill completed her Bachelors degree at Keele University, England, her Masters degree at the University of London, England and her PhD at the University of Maryland, College Park. Following her early interest in the development of interlimb coordination, her current primary research focus is in the area of improving bimanual and gait rehabilitation for individuals with stroke.  She uses motor control and learning principles to develop new treatment programs and then tests these interventions while also trying to understand principles of recovery.  This work includes partnering with industry to produce technologies suitable for home use and also partnering with colleagues from other disciplines including bioengineers and neurologists as well as physical therapists in Baltimore and in the University of Southampton, UK. Her secondary research focus is on understanding sensorimotor problems in children with developmental coordination disorder. Jill is nationally and internationally recognized for her research in both of these areas. She has been continuously funded as PI or Co-I for over 25 years from agencies such as NIH, NIDDR, NIHR and the VA. Jill is widely published with an H-index of 31 and a citation total of >3,800. She is on the editorial board of the Journal of Motor Behavior and has served as co-editor and editorial board member of Research in Developmental Disorders. Jill was elected to be Secretary/ Treasurer (2000) and subsequently President of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (2007). She was also elected and inducted into the National Academy of Kinesiology (NAK) in 2008.  She has recently been elected as Secretary/Treasurer for NAK in 2016.

Research/Clinical Keywords

Stroke Rehabilitation; Coordination; Sensorimotor; Developmental coordination disorder; Bilateral

Highlighted Publications

Repetitive bilateral arm training with rhythmic auditory cueing improves motor function in chronic hemiparetic stroke. J Whitall, SMC Waller, KHC Silver, RF Macko. Stroke 31 (10), 2390-2395, 2000

Repetitive bilateral arm training and motor cortex activation in chronic stroke: a randomized controlled trial. AR Luft, S McCombe-Waller, J Whitall, LW Forrester, R Macko, JD Sorkin. JAMA 292 (15), 1853-1861, 2004

What is motor development? The lessons of history. JE Clark, J Whitall. Quest 41 (3), 183-202, 1989

Bilateral arm training: why and who benefits? SMC Waller, J Whitall. NeuroRehabilitation 23 (1), 29-41, 2008

Bilateral and unilateral arm training improve motor function through differing neuroplastic mechanisms a single-blinded randomized controlled trial. J Whitall, SMC Waller, JD Sorkin, LW Forrester, RF Macko, DF Hanley. Neurorehabilitation and neural repair 25 (2), 118-129, 2011.