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Stephanie DeLuca, Ph.D.

Stephanie DeLuca, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Co-Director, Neuromotor Research Clinic

Stephanie DeLuca, Ph.D. headshot

“We owe every child the ability to grow, and learn, and maximize their development.”

Helping children overcome neuromotor disabilities

How can occupational therapy help children with impaired motor skills?

Strokes are devastating events often associated with people over 65. But large numbers of infants have strokes, too, which can cause permanent neuromotor impairments. For more than 25 years, Stephanie Deluca, Ph.D., has studied how intensive neurorehabilitation treatments help children and adults with these impairments. 

Dr. DeLuca has helped develop and rigorously test multiple neurorehabilitation therapy protocols and led numerous clinical research trials. Her interdisciplinary research efforts have included; engagement of families, international training, and innovative teaching to prepare the next generation of clinicians and scientists. 

Dr. DeLuca has served as Co-PI on two NIH-funded multisite comparative effectiveness trials, and currently serves as a co-investigator and site- PI on the largest pediatric neurorehabilitation trial ever funded by the National Institutes of Health in the United States. In addition, she has served as a consultant for Humanity Inclusion funded by USAID and as a co-investigator on two global-health initiative grants funded by the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. DeLuca envisions “precision rehabilitation treatments” that can help all individuals impacted by neuromotor impairments by combining knowledge from diverse disciplines & communities to develop new evidenced-based rehabilitation techniques world-wide.

Dr. DeLuca believes that research should serve to empower the individuals, families, and communities impacted by disability and seeks to use research to complete this goal. Dr. DeLuca has also served as a national leader by serving as a Director at Large on the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy & Developmental Medicine (AACPDM) and previously chaired the Advocacy Committee for this organization and on the Treatment Outcomes Committee. Currently, she serves on the Care Pathways Committee for AACPDM. Before joining Virginia Tech, Dr. DeLuca was a faculty member in the department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she worked to train the next generation of therapists to be both clinicians and scientists.

  • Associate Professor, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC
  • Director, Neuromotor Research Clinic
  • Associate Professor, School of Neuroscience, College of Science
  • Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine

DeLuca SC, Trucks MR, Wallace DA, Ramey SL. (2017). Practice-based evidence from a clinical cohort that received pediatric constraint- induced movement therapy. Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine 10: 37-46.

Coker-Bolt P, Ramey SL, DeLuca SC. (2016). Promoting evidence-based practices abroad: Developing a Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy program in Ethiopia. OT Practice 21(2): 21-23.

Coker-Bolt P, DeLuca SC, Ramey SL. (2015). Training pediatric therapists to deliver constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) in Sub-Saharan Africa. Occupational Therapy International.

  • Director, Pediatric Neuromotor Research Clinic, Civitan International Research Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Health Related Professions, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Associate Scientist, Center for Exercise Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • University of Alabama Birmingham: Ph.D., Developmental Psychology
  • Oustanding Research Mentor, VTC School of Medicine, 2019
  • Outstanding Graduate Student, Developmental Psychology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2002


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