Laura Bilek, Ph.D., takes top research post at SAHP

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Laura Bilek, Ph.D.
Laura Bilek, Ph.D., associate professor of physical therapy education, has been named assistant dean for research development in the School of Allied Health Professions. She assumes her new role July 1.

Dr. Bilek, who joined UNMC in 1994, replaces Pat Leuschen, Ph.D., who was the first to hold the position. Dr. Leuschen is being honored with a retirement tea this afternoon.

Dr. Bilek is a 1988 graduate of the SAHP’s Physical Therapy Education program. She received her Ph.D. at UNMC in 1994 though the medical sciences interdepartmental areas (MSIA) graduate program. Since 2010, Dr. Bilek has served as co-chair of the MSIA program.

“I am very pleased Dr. Bilek agreed to serve the SAHP in this capacity,” said Kyle Meyer, Ph.D., senior associate dean of the SAHP. “She is absolutely the right person to build upon the momentum in research established during Dr. Leuschen’s tenure.”

Dr. Bilek is a former SAHP Outstanding Researcher of the Year. She recently made news as a co-investigator — the team also included UNMC colleagues Graham Sharp, Ph.D., and Geoffrey Thiele, Ph.D., and a trio from Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute at the University of Northern Colorado — of a preliminary pilot study which suggests exercise by cancer survivors may strengthen immune system function to help ward off recurrences of the disease.

Dr. Bilek’s personal research interest is in the interaction between the immune system, inflammation and exercise.


  1. Huangui Xiong says:

    Congratulations, Laura !

  2. Poomy says:

    Congratulations Dr. Laura!

  3. Beth Bartels says:

    Congratulations Laura ! 25 years ago we were sitting in Conkling Hall !

  4. Keith Swarts says:

    Congrats to you Laura, You are very deserving of this positon. I have always enjoyed interacting with you.

    Good Luck, Keith

  5. John Lowe says:

    Congratulations Dr. Bilek!

  6. Kelly Hall says:

    Congratulations Laura! Quite an accomplishment!

    Kelly H. (family)!

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