Dr. Deborah Thorpe received her B.S. in elementary education and M.S. in early childhood development from WVU. She taught at North Elementary in Morgantown for seven years. She obtained her physical therapy degree from the University of New England and her Ph.D. from the Medical College of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann University in 1998. Dr. Thorpe has maintained a clinical practice throughout her 24 years as a therapist, academician and researcher, previously at the University of Texas Medical Branch and presently as an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a Pediatric Certified Specialist and the 2003 recipient of the United Cerebral Palsy Association Research and Education Foundation, Ethel Hausman Clinical Research Scholars Award. Dr. Thorpe has held board of director positions in both the Pediatric and Aquatic sections of the American Physical Therapy Association. Her research focuses on fitness, physical activity, and health promotion for persons with cerebral palsy across the lifespan. She is presently on an international team of researchers who are developing standardized measurement tools to evaluate fitness and physical activity in persons with CP. Dr. Thorpe recently completed an NIH-funded study investigating the development of secondary conditions in adults with CP and the effects of a community-based aquatic exercise intervention. She has presented her research on fitness and health promotion for persons with developmental disabilities both nationally and internationally. Dr. Thorpe resides in Elon, North Carolina.