Team Biographies | Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Troy Hooper

Troy Hooper is the Associate Dean for Research and Innovation for the School of Health Professions. He has worked at TTUHSC since 2007. He began his academic career in the Master of Athletic Training program and moved to the ScD in Physical Therapy (now Rehabilitation Sciences) program in 2012. He is also a faculty member in the PhD in Rehabilitation Science program. He was promoted to associate professor in 2018 and was appointed Director of Research Data Management in the SHP Office of Research and Innovation in 2021. His duties in that role included assisting faculty with research design, IRB submission, and data analysis. In addition to his duties at TTUHSC, he is International Faculty at the Universidad del Desarollo in Santiago, Chile. Dr. Hooper earned a BS degree in Biology from Angelo State University (1996) and Master of Physical Therapy (2001) and PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences (2015) degrees from TTUHSC. He is a licensed physical therapist and a licensed and certified athletic trainer. He began his clinical practice as an athletic trainer in 1996 and additionally worked as a physical therapist for Covenant Hospital and University Medical Center in outpatient and inpatient settings from 2001 until he joined TTUHSC in 2007. His teaching responsibilities include coordinating both programs’ research methods and statistical analysis courses.

Dr. Hooper is a member of the Clinical Musculoskeletal Research Laboratory in the Center for Rehabilitation Research. His research interests include understanding soft tissue alterations with musculoskeletal conditions using shear wave ultrasound elastography, how tissue stiffness changes in response to clinical interventions including exercise and manual therapy, and how these changes affect pain and function. He also investigates motor control changes with spine and lower extremity dysfunction.

Kerry Gilbert

Dr. Gilbert was born and raised in Austin, Texas. He attended The University of Texas and graduated in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology. In 1994 he moved to Lubbock, Texas to attend Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) to pursue his Master in Physical Therapy (MPT) Degree. After receiving his MPT degree (1997) and being licensed as a physical therapist, he worked in an outpatient orthopaedic setting at University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas. He took an Assistant Professor faculty position in the TTUHSC, School of Health Professions (SHP), MPT Program in 1999. Since that time, he has completed his Certification in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy (COMT) through the International Academy of Orthopaedic Medicine-United States (IAOM-US; 2000), and completed his Doctor of Science (ScD) degree through TTUHSC in 2004. Dr. Gilbert has served as the TTUHSC MPT/DPT Program Director since 2004 and also has faculty appointments within the Transitional DPT, ScD, and PhD Programs within the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences. Dr. Gilbert was promoted to Associate Professor and was granted Tenure in 2009. In 2016 Dr. Gilbert was promoted to Professor. Dr. Gilbert coordinated the Musculoskeletal PT Practice track of the TTUHSC DPT curriculum for 10 years and now coordinates the Human (Gross) Anatomy course for the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and contributes to the Physician’s Assistant Gross Anatomy course. He also serves as the Assistant Dean of Anatomy Research and Education for the School of Health Professions and the Director of the Clinical Anatomy Research Lab within the Center for Rehabilitation Research at TTUHSC. Dr. Gilbert was awarded the “Young Investigator Award” (2007) by SPINE and was co-author of the SPINE “Young Investigator Award” manuscript (2015) for his work in nerve root displacement and strain in unembalmed cadavers. He is also known for his work in intraneural fluid dynamics in response to neurodynamic mobilization. Dr. Gilbert serves as the TTUHSC representative to the State Anatomical Board of Texas. As Co-Director of the Institute of Anatomical Sciences, Dr. Gilbert is committed to excellence in anatomical teaching, research, and service, and is excited to help foster an interdisciplinary approach to anatomical education and investigation.


  • Program Director & Professor with tenure- School of Health Professions
  • Assistant Dean, Anatomy Research and Education- Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, School of Health Professions
  • Co-Director, Institute of Anatomical Sciences
  • Director, Clinical Anatomy Research Laboratory – within the Center for Rehabilitation Research, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, School of Health Professions
  • Doctor of Science (ScD) Physical Therapy, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (2004)
  • Master of Physical Therapy (MPT), Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (1997)
  • Bachelor of Science (BS), Kinesiology, The University of Texas at Austin (1993)
  • Licensed Physical Therapist (PT) in the State of Texas since 1997
  • Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist, International Academy of Orthopaedic Medicine- United States (IAOM-US), 2000.

Roger James

Roger James is a professor of Rehabilitation Sciences at TTUHSC. He is Director of the Center for Rehabilitation Research, Director of the Clinical Biomechanics (Gait) Laboratory within the Center, and Program Director of the Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science program. James holds a Ph.D. in Exercise and Movement Science from the University of Oregon with a specialization in biomechanics and emphases in sports medicine and motor control. He is a Research Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, TTUHSC University Distinguished Professor, School of Health Professions Excellence in Research Award recipient, and a member of the TTU Teaching Academy.

James's research focuses on reducing impairment and improving function in people who have or could develop potentially disabling movement disorders. His research objectives are to understand better the causes and consequences of gait dysfunction to reduce musculoskeletal injury and fall risk and improve mobility. Gait accommodation, or how people change their gait in response to physical and environmental challenges, is a central theme. Populations of interest include men and women of all ages who are healthy and who have mobility-altering health conditions.

James's research ranges from pre-clinical discovery of dysfunction mechanisms to early-stage clinical trials. It investigates potential intervention targets to improve function. His expertise includes biomechanical and neuromuscular factors that form the bases of movement. He incorporates research designs that control for individual differences, and he creates custom algorithms for data analysis. James collaborates with colleagues on research that aims to reduce impairment and improve function in people who have low back pain, nerve-related pain, and postural control (balance) disorders.

McKenzie T. Wilkes

McKenzie Wilkes is the School of Health Professions (SHP) Director of the Office of Research and Innovation. She also teaches a graduate course in human growth and development as an adjunct Clinical Counseling & Mental Health instructor in SHP. Dr. Wilkes earned her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies with an emphasis on Addictive Disorders and Recovery Sciences and Marriage and Family Therapy from Texas Tech University in 2016. She has over 14 years of experience in the field of addiction recovery, working at the Texas Tech University Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery, Trac9 Informatics, and NLW Partners, LLC. Dr. Wilkes taught a senior-level course on eating disorders and a collegiate community seminar for almost a decade. Her research interests include how eating disorders and mental health impact substance use disorders and long-term, sustained recovery.