A woman smiling.

Thessa Hilgenkamp, PhD

Assistant Professor

Physical Therapy
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Dr. Thessa Hilgenkamp earned her bachelor and master’s degree in Human Movement Sciences from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands during 2005. She completed her Ph.D. at the Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands during 2012, focused on physical activity and fitness among older adults with intellectual disabilities. She is intrigued by the impact cardiovascular physiological challenges have on the ability to exercise and live an active life, especially among individuals with intellectual disabilities and Down syndrome. She received a Marie Curie Sklodowska Postdoctoral Fellowship of the European Union during 2014 to investigate the topic. The fellowship enabled her to complete a postdoc at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she was mentored by Dr. Bo Fernhall in the Integrative Physiology Laboratory. During 2017, she received an NIH K99/R00 Career Development Award focused on the regulation of blood flow among individuals with Down syndrome. She joined the UNLV department of Physical Therapy during summer 2019.