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Odessa R. Addison, DPT, PhD

Academic Title:

Associate Professor

Primary Appointment:

Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science

Administrative Title:

Director for Research Affairs


AHRB, 240E

Phone (Primary):

(410) 706-4543

Education and Training

• University of Utah, BS, Pre-Physical Therapy Studies, 2003
• University of Utah, DPT, 2005
• University of Utah, PhD, Rehabilitation Science, 2012
• University of Maryland, Baltimore Post-Doctoral Fellowship, 2015
• VA Special Fellowship Geriatrics, 2016


Dr. Addison has a strong background as a physical therapist and extensive experience in the mobility assessment of older adults with chronic health conditions. As a doctoral student at the University of Utah, she investigated the effects of muscle composition (fatty infiltrate in muscle) on muscle inflammation and mobility function in older frail adults. Her dissertation findings noted that older adults with increased fatty infiltration also experienced increased inflammatory levels and decreased mobility function. As a NIH T32 Postdoctoral Fellow in the Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine at University of Maryland Baltimore School of Medicine working in the Baltimore VA Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC), she was actively engaged in studies examining the role of muscle fat infiltration in mobility and balance dysfunction in older adults including the role of fatty infiltration in the hip abductor muscles on balance in older adults. Her work in her post-doc led her to the use of Peripheral Arterial Disease as a model of vascular and muscle aging in disability.  In her currently funded VA CDA-2 grant she is examining the effects of weight loss + exercise vs exercise alone on improving mobility in older Veterans with PAD and the muscle mechanisms by which this improvement occurs.

Research/Clinical Keywords

Intermuscular fat, mobility, function, hip abductors, aging, physical therapy, peripheral arterial disease, balance, and falls

Highlighted Publications

Addison O, Drummond MJ, LaStayo PC, Dibble LE, Wende AR, McClain DA, Marcus RL. Intramuscular Fat and Inflammation Differ in Older Adults: The Impact of Frailty and Physical Activity. Journal of Nutrition, Health, and Aging 2014 May; 18(5):532-8. PMID: 24886741
Addison O, Marcus RL, LaStayo PC, Ryan AS. (2014) Intermuscular Fat: A review of the consequences and Causes. International Journal of Endocrinology. 2014:309570 PMID:24527032
Addison O, Young P, Inacio M, Bair WN, Prettyman MG, Beamer BA, Ryan AS, Rogers MW. (2014) Hip but not Thigh Intramuscular Adipose Tissue is Associated with Poor Balance and Increased Temporal Gait Variability in Older Adults. Current Aging Science. 2014;7(2):137-43. PMID:24998419
Addison O, Ryan As, Prior SJ, Katzel LI, Kundi R, Lal BK, Gardner AW. Changes in Function Following a 6-Month Walking Intervention in Patients with Intermittent Claudication who are Obese or Non-Obese. Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy. In Press