Thomas J. Birk, Ph.D., M.P.T., ACSM Fellow

Professor, Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs

[Image] Thomas Birk

Enderis Hall, Room 899
Phone: (414) 229-5616
Fax: (414) 229-2206
birk@uwm.edu

Department

Kinesiology, Office of the Dean

Education

  • Ph.D., Education-Exercise Physiology emphasis, University of Mississippi
  • M.P.T., Physical Therapy, Oakland University
  • M.S., Education-Exercise Science emphasis, Northern Illinois University
  • B.S., Physical Education, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh


Speaker Topics

  • Circulatory disorders of lower extremities and effects on mobility and gait;
  • HIV and physical activity
  • Spinal cord injury and neurogenesis
  • Pharmacology and effects on physical rehabilitation and exercise
  • Work apparel and heat stress

Interests & Expertise

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The two primary research interests over the recent past have centered on chronic venous insufficiency of the lower extremities and spinal cord injury. Chronic venous insufficiency of the legs imposes significant restrictions on standing, walking and mobility in general. Lack of mobility reduces opportunities for being socially active and employment. Identifying the causes and prescribing effective subsequent interventions would diminish the physical damage that chronic venous insufficiency causes.

Spinal cord injury impairs and limits not only mobility but activities of daily living. The inability to move lower extremities and in some cases parts of upper extremities, produces a dependency that will significantly limit independence for a person with a spinal cord injury. Therapeutic intervention has included techniques to live with the injury, and more recently a possibility of regenerating the damaged cells in the spinal cord. Spinal cord neurogenesis for injured adults has shown promise but break throughs may only result when multi-interventions are implemented.


Recent Publications

Birk, T. J. (2013). Prolonged and Shorter Aerobic Exercise Training in HIV. J AIDS Clin Res., 5, 1-4.

Birk, T. J. (2013). Occupational Medicine and Health Affairs Interest. Occup Med Health Aff., 1, 107.

Pieper, B., Templin, T. N., Kirsner, R. S., & Birk, T. J. (2010). Injection-Related Venous Disease and Walking Mobility. Journal of Addictive Diseases, 29, 1-12.

Pieper, B., Templin, T. N., Kirsner, R. S.,&  Birk, T. J. (2010, July). The Impact of Vascular Leg Disorders on Physical Activity in Methadone-maintained Adults. Research in Nursing and Health.

Pieper, B., Templin, T. N., Kirsner, R. S., & Birk, T. J. (2009). Substance Abuse and Chronic Venous Disorders. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 31, 1092-3.

Pieper, B., Templin, T. N., Krisner, R. S., & Birk, T. J. (2009). Impact of Injection Drug Use on Distribution and Severity of Chronic Venous Disorders. Wound Repair and Regeneration, 17,  485-91.

Pieper, B., Kirsner, R. S., Templin, T. N., & Birk, T. J. (2009).  Peripheral Arterial Disease among Substance Abusers in Drug Treatment. Advances in Skin & Wound Care, 22, 265-72.

Shiman, M. I., Pieper, B., Templin, T. N., Birk, T. J., Patel, A. R., & Kirsner, R. S. (2009). Venous Ulcers: A Reappraisal Analyzing the Effects of Neuropathy, Muscle Involvement, and Range of Motion upon Gait and calf Muscle Function. Wound Repair and Regeneration, 17, 147-52.

Pieper, B., Templin, T. N., Birk, T. J., & Kirsner, R. S. (2008). The Standing Heel-Rise Test: Relation to Chronic Venous Disorders and Balance, Gait, and Walk Time in Injection Drug Users. Ostomy Wound Management, 54, 18-22.

Pieper, B., Templin, T. N., Birk, T. J., & Kirsner, R. S. (2008). Chronic Venous Disorders and Injection Drug Use: Impact on Balance, Gait, and Walk Speed. Journal of Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing, 35, 301-310.

Pieper, B., Templin, T. N., Birk, T. J., & Kirsner, R. S. (2008). Reliability and Clinical Validity of a Technique to Assess Lifetime Illicit Injection Drug Use. Ostomy Wound Management, 54, 16-34.


Presentations

Annual Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing Society Meeting, Phoenix, AZ, “Physical Activity and Leg Disorders in Adults in Drug Treatment,” June, 2010. (co-author).

Annual Wound Continence Nursing Society Meeting, Phoenix, AZ, “Chronic Venous Disease, Mobility, and Leg Pain,” June, 2010. (co-author).

Annual Wound Healing Society Meeting, Orlando, FL. “Impact of Chronic Venous Disease and Peripheral Arterial Disease on Physical Activity for Adults in Drug Treatment,” April, 2010. (co-author).

Annual Wound Healing Society Meeting, Orlando, FL. “Chronic Venous Disease, Leg Pain, and Walking Mobility in Methadone Treated Adults,” April, 2010. (co-author).

Annual Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing Society Meeting, St. Louis, MO. “Peripheral Arterial Disease related to Illicit Drug Use,” June, 2009. (co-author).

Annual Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing Society Meeting, St. Louis, MO. “Chronic Venous Disease in a Methadone Treatment Sample,” June, 2009. (co-author).

Annual Scientific Meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, Reno, NV. “Distribution of Chronic Venous Disorders in a Methadone-maintenance Treated Sample,” June, 2009. (co-author).

Annual Scientific Meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, Reno, NV. “Motivation for Physical Activity and Leg Disease in Methadone Maintained Patients,” June, 2009. (co-author).

Annual Meeting of the Wound Healing Society, Dallas, TX. “The Relationship of Chronic Venous Disorders to Injection Drug Use,” April, 2009. (co-author).

National State of the Science Congress on Nursing Research, Washington, DC. “Lifestyle Activity and Injection Drug Use,” October, 2008. (co-author).

National State of the Science Congress on Nursing Research, Washington, DC. “Tinetti Test and Chronic Venous Disorders in Injection Drug Users,” October, 2008. (co-author).

National State of the Science Congress on Nursing Research, Washington, DC. “Peripheral Arterial Disease in Illicit Drug Use,” October, 2008. (co-author).

Symposium on Advanced Wound Healing and Wound Healing Society Meeting, San Diego, CA. “Risk for Peripheral Arterial Disease in Drug Use,” April, 2008. (co-author).

Symposium on Advanced Wound Healing and Wound Healing Society Meeting, San Diego, CA. “Ankle Mobility and Chronic Venous Disorders,” April, 2008. (co-author).

Symposium on Advanced Wound Healing and Wound Healing Society Meeting, San Diego, CA. “Tinetti Testing Associated with Chronic Venous Disorders and Injection Drug Use,” April, 2008. (co-author).

Midwest Nursing Research Society Conference, Minneapolis, MN.  “Development and Psychometric Validation of the Lifestyle Mobility Attitude Questionnaire,” March, 2009. (co-author).

Midwest Nursing Research Society Conference, Minneapolis, MN, “Peripheral Arterial Disease in a Drug Treatment Sample.” March, 2009. (co-author).

Midwest Nursing Research Society Conference, Minneapolis, MN, “Substance Abuse and Chronic Venous Disorders.” March, 2009.  (co-author).

Midwest Nursing Research Society Conference, Indianapolis, IN, “Balance, Gait, and Walk Speed related to Chronic Venous Disorders and Injection Drug Use.” March, 2008.  (co-author).

College on Problems of Drug Dependency Annual Scientific Meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico, “Lifestyle Mobility in a Cohort of Injection Drug Users.” June, 2008, (co-author).


Honors & Awards

  • Richard E. Darnell Research Award, Michigan Physical Therapy Association, Institute for Education and Research, Inc. (2009).
  • Visiting Scholar Recognition, Physical Therapy Program, School of Health Sciences, Oakland University (2009).
  • Fellow, American College of Sports Medicine (1988).

Professional Memberships

  • American College of Sports Medicine, Member and Fellow
  • American Physical Therapy Association, Member
  • American Heart Association, Member

Professional Services

Journal/Editorial Activity
  • 2012 – present: Editorial Board and Associate Editor, Occupational Medicine and Health Affairs
  • 1990 – present: Reviewer, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Other Professionally Related Service
  • 2012 – Present: Consultant, State of Michigan, Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs-Bureau of Health Care Services
  • 1994 – present: Grant Reviewer, Center of Alternative Medicine, NIH
  • 1987 – present: Grant Reviewer, Ohio Chapter of American Heart Association

Positions

Chair and Associate Professor
Department of Health Care Sciences
Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI
2003-2011

Associate Professor
Department of Health Care Sciences
Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI
1998-2014

Associate Professor
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan-Detroit Medical Center
Detroit, MI
1998-2011