Professor and Chair Emeritus Dr. Nancy Byl, PT, MPH, PhD, FAPTA, has received the 2017 Charles M. Magistro Distinguished Service Award from the Foundation for Physical Therapy. This award was given in acknowledgment of the many significant contributions Dr. Byl has made to advance physical therapy research throughout her stellar career. Dr. Byl's research has included basic science, clinical research, and translational research, with a focus on translating the principles of neuroplasticity to practice for patients with focal hand dystonia, stroke, brain trauma, and Parkinson’s Disease. She is well known for her work with Michael Merzenich, PhD, and played an instrumental role in the shift in thinking about adult onset focal hand dystonia as a multifactorial case of aberrant learning. Dr. Byl has supported and promoted physical therapy at the national, state, and local levels. She has participated in many research summits and grant reviews, and has served on numerous APTA and CPTA research committees. During her tenure at UCSF/SFSU, Research Design and Evidence Based Practice were among the many courses she taught. She has been an outstanding and tireless mentor to countless physical therapy students and junior faculty, and she continues to inspire aspiring physical therapists and clinical researchers.
Raziel Rizzo, DPT Class of 2020, is one of many people who have been inspired and mentored by Dr. Byl: "I have had the honor of working alongside Dr. Nancy Byl as a volunteer and research assistant at UCSF over the course of three years. During this time, I was able to witness the truly exemplary life she models and developed a profound appreciation for the role-model she is. Nancy's sacrifice, innovation, tenacity, and genuine dedication to her patients is inspiring. She has been more than a mentor to me, and has become someone I hope to emulate. Thank you for the amazing individual you are Nancy!”
Dr. Byl will be recognized during the Foundation for Physical Therapy awards luncheon at NEXT, the APTA Annual Conference & Expo, in Boston, Massachusetts in June. Congratulations to Dr. Byl on this well-deserved honor!