Associate Professor
Director, Infant Lab at Ohio State

516 Atwell Hall
453 W. 10th Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43210

Phone: (614) 292-2397
Fax: (614) 292-0210
Email: jill.heathcock@osumc.edu

Primary Professional Areas of Interest

Motor Development

Research Focus

Dr. Heathcock studies early motor development in infants and children who are at risk or identified as having a developmental disability.  Her research focuses on development of targeted interventions for pediatric populations with cognitive and motor disability. Dr. Heathcock’s laboratory uses sophisticated biomechanical and behavioral analyses to measure the transitions from spontaneous to purposeful movements and the effects of intervention. 

Dr. Heathcock has several currently funded projects including: 1) The National Institutes of Health to determine the optimal dose of physical therapy for infants with severe motor delay and cerebral palsy; 2) Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to understand the effectiveness of usual weekly and high intense periodic therapy regimens for children with cerebral palsy; 3) The American Heart Association to study neurodevelopment in infants with complex congenital heart defects; and 4) the cure SMA foundation to compare the Microsoft Kinect motion capture software with lab based Vicon Nexus motion analysis software and to help identify disease progression in infants diagnosed with Type I Spinal Muscle Atrophy.  Dr. Heathcock is part of the Center for Perinatal Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.  Please visit her lab website for more information about ongoing projects infantlab.osu.edu and email Sarah Landry at Sarah.landry@osumc.edu if you have a baby or child who qualifies for one of our studies.

Recent Publications

Carey H, Martin K, Combs-Miller S, Heathcock JC  Reliability and Responsiveness of the Timed Up & Go Test in Children with Cerebral Palsy. Pediatric Physical Therapy 28(4): 401-8, 2016

Christy J, Lobo M, Gannotti, M, Dusing S, Heathcock JC, Field-Fote E, Rimmer J. Technology for Children with Brain Injury and Motor Disability: Executive Summary from Research Summit IV. Pediatric Physical Therapy 28(4): 483-9, 2016

Recent Presentations

J Heathcock. Early Assessment and Intervention in infants at risk for motor disabilities. New York University. New York, New York. March 2016.

S DeLuca, S Ramey, P Coker-Bolt, J Heathcock. The Next Generation of Intensive Pediatric Rehabilitation Therapies: Efficacy to Effective Clinical Implementation. European Academy of Childhood Disability. Stockholm, Sweden. May 2016

J Heathcock. Motor skill development, learning paradigms, and kinematic assessment. University of Lille 2. Lille, France. October 2016.

Major Awards

  • 2016 - Best Abstract, Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association 
  • 2016 - Fulbright Scholar, Fulbright-Hays 
  • 2014 - Senator, The Ohio State University Senate
  • 2013 - The Association of American Medical Colleges Early Career Woman Faculty Professional Development Seminar
  • 2011 - School of Allied Medical Professions Research Award
  • 2006 - Dissertation Award, Pediatrics Section APTA
  • 2005 - Dorothy Briggs Memorial Scientific Inquiry Award, APTA

Courses Taught

  • PT 8230 Clinical Apps. In Pediatrics (3) – primary professor
  • PT 8630 Clinical Sci. in Pediatrics (2) – primary professor
  • PT 8030 Topics in Pediatrics (1)
  • PT 8430 Pediatric Laboratory (1)
  • PT 8998 Research Practicum
  • Research and Pediatric Specialization courses and independent study


  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Infant Motor Development, University of Michigan
  • 2006: PhD, Biomechanics and Movement Science, The University of Delaware
  • 2001: MPT, Physical Therapy, The University of Delaware
  • 1998: BS, Exercise Science and Pre-PT, The University of Delaware