Cynthia Ferrara

Cynthia M. Ferrara, Physical Therapy

Cynthia M. Ferrara, Physical Therapy

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

Research Interest

Screening and intervention strategies for the prevention of obesity and the metabolic syndrome in children, adolescents, and adults.  Exercise and inflammation in animal models.  Obesity and insulin resistance in animal models.  Effects of aerobic and resistance exercise in older men and women.  Molecular mechanisms of glucose transport and insulin action in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue.

Teaching Responsibilities: Entry-Level Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program; Medical Surgical Conditions/Pathology. Undergraduate Exercise Physiology Program; Exercise Physiology, Research Methods.

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.


Dr. Ferrara 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. 

Dr. Ferrara teaches Medical/Surgical conditions in Physical Therapy (Pathology) to first-year DPT students and courses in Exercise Physiology and Research methods to undergraduate students in exercise physiology.  Dr. Ferrara is currently conducting studies examining obesity, lack of physical activity, and stress on the risk of disability or illness. 

Dr. Ferrara is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and 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 is a vice chair 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)