Tiffany Hilton, PT, PhD

Tiffany Hilton
Program Director and Director of Professional Education; Associate Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery, Core Faculty
Interprofessional Education and Care Building (IPE)

Dr. Hilton is a physical therapist and research scientist focusing on exercise and aging. She has worked on developing and implementing exercise interventions to improve physical function in frail community-dwelling elders. Her research is aimed at optimizing function in elderly individuals who have experienced a disabling medical event, such as a hip fracture.


  • Postdoctoral fellowship, Washington University in St. Louis, 2005 – 2007

  • PhD, Rehabilitation Science, University of Florida, 2004

  • MPT, Physical Therapy, the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, 1999

  • BS, Health and Exercise Science, Wake Forest University, 1996


Geriatrics, cardiovascular physical therapy, home health, fall prevention


The widespread occurrence of the loss of muscle mass and strength presents an important challenge to the field of physical therapy. Muscular weakness is observed following surgery, falls and fractures, immobilization, non-weight-bearing during extended periods of bed rest, or as a result of disease and aging. The consequences of loss of muscle function are far reaching and include decreased motor control and overall fitness, development of impairment and functional limitations, and long-term disability. Primary clinical and research interests include classification, contributors to and rehabilitation of physical frailty in older adults, and metabolic and skeletal muscle adaptations to exercise training to reduce sarcopenia and osteopenia. Current research is aimed at optimizing physical function in older individuals who have experienced a disabling medical event, such as a hip fracture.

Recent publications

  • Zablotny C, Hilton T, Riek L, Kneiss J, Tome J, Houck J. Validity of Visual Assessment of Sit to Stand After Hip Fracture. J Geriatr Phys Ther; 2020 Jan/Mar; 43(1): 12-19.
  • Cook CJ, Cook CE, Hilton TN. Does Emotional Intelligence Influence Success During Medical School Admissions and Program Matriculation?: a systematic review. J Educ Eval Health Prof; 2016 Nov 8
  • Shah, Krupa N., Zahraa Majeed, Yilmaz B. Yoruk, Hongmei Yang, Tiffany N. Hilton, James M. McMahon, William J. Hall, Donna Walck, Amneris E. Luque, and Richard M. Ryan. “Enhancing physical function in HIV-infected older adults: A randomized controlled clinical trial.” Health Psychol 35, no. 6 (June 2016): 563–73.

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Awards and honors

  • Foundation for Physical Therapy PODS I Scholarship, 2002

  • Foundation for Physical Therapy Viva J. Erickson Scholarship, 2003

  • Foundation for Physical Therapy PODS II Scholarship, 2003

  • VA Pre-Doctoral Health Rehabilitation Research Fellowship, 2004

  • Foundation for Physical Therapy NIFTI Fellowship, 2006