Cynthia Ferrara

Cynthia M. Ferrara, Physical Therapy

Associate Professor, Director of Exercise Physiology
O’Leary 540M

Research Interest

•    Utilizing technologies to promote physical activity.
•    Community-wide interventions and environmental changes to promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles. 
•    Screening and intervention strategies for the prevention of obesity and the metabolic syndrome in children, adolescents, and adults.
•    Biomarkers of stress and the relationship to performance, illness and injury, and disability. 
•    Molecular mechanisms of glucose transport and insulin action in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue.
•    Evaluation of programs to promote student academic success and retention.
Teaching Responsibilities: Undergraduate Exercise Physiology Program; Exercise Physiology, Research Methods, Directed Research and Honors Research Opportunities. 

Educational Background

B.S., Physical Therapy. Boston University
M.S., Physiology. The Pennsylvania State University
Ph.D., Exercise Physiology. The Ohio State University
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Experimental Diabetes, Metabolism, and Nutrition Section, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD.
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Medicine, Division of Gerontology, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD.


Cynthia Ferrara Ph.D., joined the Physical Therapy Department faculty as an Assistant Professor in 2003.  She received her B.S. in Physical Therapy at Boston University, a M.S. in Physiology from Penn State, and a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology from Ohio State.  Dr. Ferrara has completed post-doctoral training in the Experimental Diabetes, Nutrition, and Metabolism Section, National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, and in the Division of Gerontology, University of Maryland, Baltimore.  She held a research faculty position at the University of Maryland Baltimore prior to her appointment at UMass Lowell and has published papers on aging, diabetes, and obesity-related research.
Ferrara is the Director of the Exercise Physiology Program and the Honors College representative and advisor for the undergraduate program. She teaches courses in Exercise Physiology and Research methods. 
She is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and a professional member of the American Physiological Society.  She has served on the Research and Clinical Practice committee of the NH APTA, as a board member-at-large for New England American College of Sports Medicine, and  as a vice chair and member of the Sports Sciences and Sports Medicine Committee of US Figure Skating. She serves on the curriculum committees for the Physical Therapy and Exercise Physiology programs. 

Research Interests and Collaborations (pdf)