By Kate Hunger
“I was a swimmer and triathlete for years and my knee got bad,” he said. “I went to do physical therapy myself after knee surgery and I just fell in love with the profession. Then, I went to investigate what the students do, what they have to go through, and I said, ‘That’s it.’”
Almeida joined the Department of Physical Therapy in June. He is course director for Exercise Physiology in the coming fall semester and will co-teach Movement Science in the spring.
He received his bachelor’s in physical therapy and training in Brazil and has more than 18 years of clinical experience, with a focus on sports and orthopedic rehabilitation. Almeida most recently served as research assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh, where he received his Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science in 2015, taught kinesiology in undergraduate and graduate programs and served as an invited lecturer for classes related to evidence-based practice, biomechanics, and diversity.
Earlier in his career, Almeida worked for a physical therapy clinic that treated professional athletes and circus performers.
“I was treating famous Brazilian soccer players and MMA fighters for a while,” he said, adding that the clinic where he worked also served as the physical therapy base for the Cirque du Soleil when it was performing in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2006.
Almeida’s current research interests relate to musculoskeletal rehabilitation for people with arthritis.
“I am looking at exercise interventions to improve joint health, physical health, and physical activity,” he said. “When I learned that the PT department was looking to grow and wanted to move their research agenda forward, I saw the big opportunity to grow with them.” He was also satisfied with the infrastructure offered at UT Health, which will enable him to develop his research.
He is pleased with the high degree of involvement he is already experiencing at the University, such as serving on research and faculty development committees, as well as establishing collaborations across departments and getting his research off the ground within a short time of joining the faculty.
“That’s all I needed and wanted to do,” he said.