Thomas Sutor, PhD, CSCS


Hometown: Annandale, NJ

Year I became a Gator: 2015

Department: Physical Therapy

Mentor: Emily Fox, PT, DPT, PhD, NCS

Research focus: My career goal is to improve rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injuries, so that people with even the most severe injuries have a chance of meaningful return of sensory-motor function. My doctoral thesis is focusing on ways to influence or improve breathing function after spinal cord injury in humans.

What drives me: I worked as an exercise trainer for people with spinal cord injuries for 4 years before coming to UF, and formed strong relationships with people with spinal cord injuries and got to know the difficulties many of them can face in life. I’m also driven by a desire to accelerate the pace of research and delivering useful therapies to the clinic.

What I like most about the BREATHE Training Program: The opportunity to meet and interact with world-class scientists in the breathing community and beyond has been invaluable. I also have more opportunities to discuss research with a diverse group of students, post-docs, and faculty. I like to think that lending some perspective to the work of some of my colleagues has helped them, because I know my own research has improved through my interactions with the diverse group that the BREATHE program gives me access to.

Awards & achievements since being on the T32:

  • Awarded best poster at the UF PHHP Research Day in February, 2020
  • Co-authored two papers that are in press in peer-reviewed journals
  • Scheduled to defend dissertation on June 30, 2020

What I like about Gainesville: Gainesville is a great place to raise a family. Go Gators!

What makes the BREATHE Training Program unique? The regular, frequent interactions with scientists from UF and beyond is something I have not heard of taking place as often at other universities.

What I do for fun: I like to lift weights, go for hikes, go to the beach, watch soccer – and all that is best if I can do it with my family!