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Department of Physical Therapy

Na-hyeon (Hannah) Ko, PT, DPT, PhD

Faculty img

Assistant Professor


Department of Physical Therapy
California State University, Fresno
5315 N. Campus Drive M/S PT29 
Fresno, Ca 93740-8019

Office Location: 
PTIA Room 112

Phone: (559) 278-4862
Fax: (559) 278-3635

Educational Background

Education University
D.P.T. A.T. Still University, Mesa, AZ, 2018
Ph.D. Biokinesiology, University of Southern California, 2016
M.A. Teachers College, Columbia University, 2011
B.S. Physical Therapy, Sehan University, South Korea, 2005



Ko N, Laine CM, Fisher BE, and Valero-Cuevas FJ. (2015). Force variability during dexterous manipulation in individuals with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 7, 151. DOI:10.3389/fnagi.2015.00151

Ko N, Laine CM, Fisher BE, and Valero-Cuevas FJ. (2016). Dynamic fingertip force variability in individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Hand Therapy, 29(2):e8.

Ko N, Laine CM, Valero-Cuevas FJ. (2018). Unimanual dexterous tasks facilitate the corticospinal excitability in the ipsilateral M1. Manuscript in preparation


Ko N, Laine CM, Fisher B, and Valero-Cuevas FJ. Dynamic fingertip force variability in individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Platform Presentation in Hand Rehabilitation Section, American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting, Anaheim, CA, Feb 17- 20, 2016.

Ko N, Laine CM, Nagamori A, Hooyman, A, DiConti-Gibbs, A, Lerner J, Fisher BE, and Valero-Cuevas FJ. Distinctive control strategy of dynamic fingertip force in individuals with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease and its clinical implications. The American Society of Biomechanics, Columbus, OH, Aug 5-8, 2015.

Ko N, Fisher B, and Valero-Cuevas FJ. Distinctive motor control strategies in Parkinson’s disease during an unstable object manipulation and its implications to clinical evaluation. Society for the Neural Control of Movement, Charleston, SC, Apr 20-24, 2015.

Ko N, Lawrence EL, Fisher B, and Valero-Cuevas FJ. While still able to manipulate unstable objects, individuals with Parkinson’s disease exhibit distinct neural control strategies. 7th World Congress of Biomechanics, Boston, MA, Jul 6-11, 2014.

Ko N, Lawrence EL, Dayanidhi S, DiConti A, Lerner J, Winstein C, Requejo P, Fisher B, and Valero-Cuevas FJ. The Strength-Dexterity test can detect differences in dynamic control of fingertip forces between individuals with Parkinson’s disease and non-disabled older adults. Society of Neuroscience, San Diego, CA, Nov 9-13, 2013.

Ko N, Holt B, Reyes A, Park H, and Valero-Cuevas FJ. Development of interactive virtual video game for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Summer School on Neurorehabilitation, Elche, Spain, Sep 15-20, 2013.

Ko N, Kurse M, and Valero-Cuevas FJ. Musculoskeletal model of arm position for casting for splinting and muscle selection for botulinum toxin in individuals with Cerebral Palsy. Canadian Society for Biomechanics, Vancouver, BC, Canada, June 6-9, 2012.

Year Role
2018 - present Member, American Physical Therapy Association
2015-2016 Member, Society for Neural Control of Movement
2014-2016  Member, American Society of Biomechanics
2013-2014 Member, The Movement Disorder Society
2013-2014 Member, Society for Neuroscience
2012-2013   Member, Canadian Society of Biomechanics
2010-2011 Member, American Physical Therapy Association
2011-2012 Member, American Society of Biomechanics


Diploma in Innovation Award with $5,000 grant, Office of the Provost, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, Jul 2012 - May 2013

  • PhTh 537 Physical Therapy Management of Pediatrics
  • PhTh 598 DPT Project
  • PhTh 555 Clinical Learning II: Gait, Balance, and Mobility Center
  • PhTh 508 Foundations of Patient Assessment and Clinical Management in Physical Therapy II

Dr. Na-hyeon (Hannah) Ko is an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at California State University, Fresno. She received her Ph.D. degree in Biokinesiology at the University of Southern California and M.A. degree in Motor Learning and Control at Columbia University. She obtained her B.S. in physical therapy at Sehan University, South Korea and post-professional Doctor of Physical Therapy at A. T. Still University. Her clinical experience focuses on pediatrics, specializing in early intervention (0-3 years) and children with neurological and genetic disorders. She has practiced in various clinical settings in New York and California. As a professor at Fresno State, Dr. Ko teaches physical therapy management of pediatrics.

Dr. Ko’s research interests are neuroplasticity and neurorehabilitation for individuals with neurological disorders (e.g., cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, etc.). She is interested in investigating underlying neurophysiological mechanisms of motor control and motor learning when performing complex motor tasks, using non-invasive brain stimulation such as transcranial magnetic stimulation. Furthermore, she would like to develop neurorehabilitation strategies for individuals with neurological disorders to improve motor function by facilitating neuroplasticity in the brain by challenging motor tasks and non-invasive brain stimulation.

Dr. Ko enjoys hiking in the National Parks and exploring the city of Fresno. She has a barista certificate and brews pour-over coffee every morning. She also likes to discuss and share ideas at happy hours.