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About Mary Insana Fisher

Mary Insana Fisher, PT, PhD, OCS, CLT, Professor and Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy, joined the faculty at the University of Dayton in 2008. Her latest research addresses cancer related fatigue (CRF), and includes a clinical practice guideline for the screening and assessment of CRF. Her focus on functional problems that individuals diagnosed with cancer experience after treatment crosses the assessment and rehabilitative realms. This includes an ongoing eHealth study addressing CRF, studying the effects of lymphedema – swelling from a buildup of lymphatic fluid – in the arms of women who have been treated for breast cancer, and identifying valid and reliable tools to measure various functional impairments faced by those experiencing cancer. Her early work focused on lymphedema, which, often painful, can increase the likelihood of infection, reduce extremity function and diminish quality of life. Dr. Fisher’s work examines both prevention and management, addressing connections between activities such as yoga, weightlifting and everyday activities to strength, endurance and arm volume.

Dr. Fisher is licensed physical therapist with more than three decades of clinical experience; a Board-certified orthopedic specialist through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties; and a certified lymphedema therapist. She also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Rehabilitation Oncology.

* Ph.D., Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Kentucky
* M.S., Physical Therapy, Boston University
* B.A., English, Wittenberg University

* American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), member since 1989
* APTA Section Membership: Oncology, Orthopedic, Women’s Health, Research; secretary, Oncology Section
* Ohio Physical Therapists Association (OPTA)


2008 - Present Associate Professor, University of Dayton Department of Physical Therapy
August 2010 - July 2016 Assistant Professor, University of Dayton Department of Physical Therapy

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Honors and Awards

  • 2017 University of Dayton School of Education and Health Sciences Scholarship Award for Tenured Faculty


  • HSS 465: Physical Therapy Seminar
  • DPT 993-995: Research III-V
  • DPT 967: Advanced Therapy I: Clinical Pathology
  • DPT 977: Advanced Therapy I: Clinical Skills Lab
  • DPT 987: Advanced Therapy I: Clinical Issues Seminar
  • DPT 988: Advanced Therapy II: Contemporary Practice Issues

Contact Information

Phone: 937-229-5617
Office: Raymond L. Fitz Hall, Room 209E
Address: Department of Physical Therapy, University of Dayton, 300 College Park, Dayton, OH 45469-2925


Mobility after cancer (9)

Other therapy (1)

Lymphedema (4)

Oncology rehabilitation (23)