Professor, Physical Therapy
Dr. Allen is responsible for teaching courses on clinical anatomy, neuroscience, functional neuroanatomy, and psychological aspects of physical therapy practice. In addition to his physical therapy degree, he holds a PhD in psychophysiology, MSEd in health education and BS in both psychology and biology. His physical therapy practice specialized in the treatment of people who experience chronic pain, with emphasis on the treatment of complex regional pain syndrome. The integration of psychophysiological expertise and hands-on treatment of patients with chronic pain has afforded him unique professional perspectives on both pain management and understanding of the complex (and often surprising) relationships between our bodies, our minds, and mechanisms within the human brain. His primary research work now explores delayed modulation mechanisms of neuropathic pain. He is author of three textbooks, along with chapters in the three most recent editions of the encyclopedic benchmark reference, Bonica’s Management of Pain. He has now made over 100 national and international research presentations at venues including the Nobel Institute for Neurophysiology, World Pain Congress, World Congress of Physical Therapy, World Congress of Neurology, American Pain Society, World Institute of Pain, European Congress of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, American Academy of Orthopaedic and Manual Physical Therapists, and regularly at APTA’s Combined Sections Meetings and Annual Conferences. His published research has appeared in journals such as the international Journal of Physical Therapy, Psychophysiology, the Journal of Neurological Physical Therapy, European Journal of Pain, Physiotherapy, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America, the International Journal of Sport Psychology, and includes an anthologized paper in the science parody Journal of Irreproducible Results. Much of his research is conducted with the integral involvement of his graduate physical therapy students and undergraduate neuroscience interns. These important faculty/student collaborations have ignited and nurtured the sparks of exciting fresh insights. So far, more than 100 of his students have presented research at national or international conferences, or published their work in professional journals, and four have received international research awards.
In 2005 he was granted a John Lantz Senior Research Fellowship to complete research aimed at mapping neurovascular innervation patterns of peripheral nerves and subsequently received the Brown Sequard Medal from the Institut de Physiologie Nervologie for this work. From the University of Puget Sound, he is recipient of the Dirk Andrew Phibbs Memorial Research Award and the Outstanding Teaching Award (now named the Tom Davis Teaching Award). Dr. Allen was selected in 2016 to deliver the 44th Regester Lecture, “Echoes of Pain in the Neuromatrix” and in 2017 was recognized with the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award, presented by UPS President Isiaah Crawford.