Stacey Dusing, PhD, PT, says she’s always been a bit of a “kid person.” Whether babysitting as a teen or teaching swim lessons, the Sykes Family Chair in pediatric physical therapy, health and development has always felt a calling to advocate for vulnerable populations.

Driven by this lifelong dedication, Dusing and co-investigator Kari Kretch, DPT, are leading the newly opened USC Motor Development Lab, part of the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy. The goal of this lab is to study the development of motor control and coordination in infants and young children with and without disabilities to investigate the impact of physical therapy treatment on motor and cognitive development. 

“I have a strong passion for research because there are so many unanswered questions in clinical practice, and we need more people who can ask and answer these questions,” said Dusing. The lab follows a two-pronged approach: identifying which kids are at the highest risk of having disabilities and determining the best course of action to treat them.

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