Prithvi Shah, PhD

Prithvi Shah, PhDPhoto Credit: Jeanne Neville

Prithvi Shah, PT, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Physical Therapy
Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Office: Life Science Bldg, Rm 172
Lab: Life Science Bldg, Rm 121
Lab Website:

Research interests: Spinal Cord Injury; Neurorehabilitation; Electrophysiology; Neuroplasticity; Motor Behavior; Motor Control; Kinematics; Epidural Stimulation; Neural control of motor behavior.


The spinal cord is traditionally thought of as a conduit for transmitting signals from the brain to the periphery. The hypothesis of my research work is that the spinal cord is a system that compromises of a dense and distributed network of neurons that is capable of controlling, modulating and executing motor tasks independent of input from the brain. Additionally, neuronal networks in the spinal cord are extremely dynamic - constantly changing in response to injury and interventions. We specifically study contribution of the spinal cord in the performance of sensory-motor tasks such as walking, reaching, grasping, and maintaining posture. In our studies, we use a combination of pharmacological, electrical and rehabilitation training regimens to facilitate spinal neuronal activity and modulate the functional state of the spinal cord. To achieve our research objectives, we adopt a variety of basic science methodologies including behavioral assessment, electrophysiological evaluation and immunohistological measures in the rodent model. Our work has direct implications in the development of novel motor rehabilitation strategies after motor dysfunction in persons with neurological disorders.

Educational Background

  • BS Physical Therapy, University of Pune, 2002
  • PhD Rehabilitation Science and Physiology, University of Florida, 2008
  • Postdoc, Integrative Biology, Physiology, and Neurorehabilitation, University of California Los Angeles

Funded Grant Activity


Craig Neilsen Foundation; New York State Spinal Cord Injury Institutional Grant.


Selected Publications

(2015) Alam M, Garcia-Alias P, Shah PK, Gerasimenko Y, Zhong H, Roy RR, Edgerton VR. Evaluation of optimal electrode configurations for epidural spinal cord stimulation in cervical spinal cord injured rats. Journal of Neuroscience Methods.

(2015) García-Alías G, Truong K, Shah PK, Roy RR, Edgerton VR. Plasticity of subcortical pathways promote recovery of skilled hand function in rats after corticospinal and rubrospinal tract injuries. Experimental Neurology.

(2014) Shah P, et al; In-vivo bioenergetics of skeletal muscle after spinal cord contusion in rats [European Journal of Applied Physiology,2014 Apr;114(4):847-58 January 2014]

2013) Shah PK et al; Quadrupedal Step-training Enhances Locomotor Function after Spinal Cord Injury Via Re-engagement of Spinal Interneuronal Networks, Brain. 2013 Nov;136(Pt 11):3362-77.

(2013) Gad P, Lavrov I, Shah PK, Zhong H, Roy RR, Edgerton VR, Gerasimenko Y. J; Neuromodulation of motor- evoked potentials during stepping in spinal rats. J. Neurophysiol. 2013 Sep;110(6):1311-22

(2012) Shah PK, Gerasimenko Y, Edgerton, V.R; Variability in Step Training Enhances Locomotor Recovery after a Spinal Cord Injury, Eur J Neurosci. 2012 Jul;36(1):2054-2062

(2011) Shah PK, Song J, Kim S, Zhong H, Roy RR, Edgerton VR. Rodent Estrous Cycle Response to Surgical Interventions, Behavioral Neuroscience, 2011 Dec;125(6):996-1002

Full publications list