University of Nebraska Medical Center

Elizabeth Wellsandt, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS

Associate Professor


Elizabeth Wellsandt, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS
Dr. Wellsandt is an Associate Professor in the Physical Therapy program with a courtesy appointment in UNMC’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. She completed her Doctorate of Physical Therapy training at UNMC in 2009, a PhD in Biomechanics and Movement Science from the University of Delaware in 2016, and a Masters in Clinical Translational Research from UNMC in 2021.

She lead an interdisciplinary research team focused on patient outcomes after ACL injury that includes collaborators in orthopaedic surgery, radiology, biomechanics and engineering. Her team also includes graduate, health professional, and undergraduate students studying movement and sports medicine. Dr. Wellsandt's research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Rheumatology Research Foundation, and Foundation for Physical Therapy Research.

She teaches within UNMC's Physical Therapy program curriculum in the areas of biomechanics, movement analysis, and musculoskeletal physical therapy.

She serves across many international and national organizations including the Osteoarthritis International Research Society International (OARSI), Rheumatology Research Foundation (RRF), and American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).
  • MS, Clinical and Translational Research, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 2020
  • PhD, Biomechanics and Movement Science, University of Delaware, 2016
  • DPT, Division of Physical Therapy Education, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 2009
  • BS, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 2009
  • OCS (Orthopedic Certified Specialist), American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties, 2015-present
Honors and Awards
  • 2022 Distinguished Mentor Award, Student Senate, UNMC
  • 2022 Combined Sections Meeting Best Abstract Award, American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy
  • 2021 Early Career Investigator Award in Biomechanics Research, Biomechanics Special Interest Group of the Academy of Research, American Physical Therapy Association
  • 2021 New Investigator Award, Vice Chancellor for Research Office, UNMC
  • 2020 Significance in Research Award for Junior Faculty, College of Allied Health Professions, UNMC
  • 2019 Rheumatology Research Foundation – Investigator Award Recipient
  • 2017 Foundation for Physical Therapy Research – New Investigator Fellowship Training Initiative Recipient
  • 2017 Emerging Leader Award, American Physical Therapy Association
  • 2015 Excellence in Research Award, Sports Section of the American Physical Therapy Association
Research interests
Dr. Wellsandt's team focuses research on people who have had a knee injury, specifically ACL injury.

They study biomechanical movement patterns, muscle strength, physical activity levels, and MRI to learn how we can optimize patient quality of life by preventing outcomes such as knee re-injury and arthritis.