Sean Collins

Sean Collins, Physical Therapy, Biomedical Engineering

Sean Collins, Physical Therapy, Biomedical Engineering

Associate Professor
O'Leary 540K

Research Interest

My overall interest is to advance and communicate new knowledge and insights pertaining to the examination and evaluation (assessment) of human function, performance and health specifically related to physical therapy practice.  The information flow into and decision response (action) out of the assessment process is of particular interest. This includes both an empirical component in the development and validation of innovative methods to collect, process and interpret assessment data; and a theoretical component related to clinical epistemology, dynamic inference and quantitative modeling. The empirical and theoretical components of this work are co-dependent.

Educational Background

B.S. Exercise Physiology, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 1992

M.S. Physical Therapy, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 1994

Sc.D. Ergonomics, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 2003


Dr. Collins joined the faculty in September 1998, served as Department Chair from 2008-2013, and was appointed Director of the Human Assessment Lab in 2012.  His clinical experience was focused on general and cardiopulmonary physical therapy.  Dr. Collins completed his dissertation in ergonomics studying the effect of job strain (particularly low job control) on cardiovascular regulation. This dissertation required computational modeling (at the level of raw electrocardiogram data and heart rate time series modeling) as well as biostatistical analysis for within and between subject contrasts. Applying this multi-scale approach to data integration and analysis to the assessment of human health, performance and disease risk has become Dr. Collins’ primary scholarly interest within a wide range of applications.

Dr. Collins has over 30 publications in peer-reviewed journals, has presented at local, national, and international conferences and is the author of a Cardiac System chapter in the Acute Care Handbook for Physical Therapists, edited by Jaime Paz and Michelle Panik; and a chapter on Cardiopulmonary Anatomy for Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy, a text edited by William DeTurk and Lawrence Cahalin.

Dr. Collins is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, Cardiopulmonary sections serving as the Associate Editor of the Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal.  He is also a member of the American Psychological Association, Society of Occupational Health Psychology and the Institute for Human Factors & Ergonomics.