In the News

Bhupinder Singh is named founding director of physical therapy doctoral program at Manchester University 

Bhupinder SinghBhupinder Singh has been named founding program director of the Department of Physical Therapy at Manchester University in northeast Indiana. He begins March 1.

As part of its Charting the Future initiative, Lilly Endowment Inc. this fall selected Manchester for a $1 million grant to help launch a Doctor of Physical Therapy program. The grant allowed Manchester to move forward with hiring a director, faculty and staff in order to pursue accreditation. The program start date depends on when accreditation is approved.

“We are excited to take this next step in establishing Manchester’s signature program in the rehabilitation sciences,” said President Dave McFadden. “Dr. Singh is a perfect fit for Manchester, and he is the right person to lead this program. He has a track record of interdisciplinary collaboration and building service into the student experience – both hallmarks of health science education at Manchester.”

Singh comes to Manchester from the Department of Physical Therapy at California State University, Fresno. He completed his doctoral work in physical therapy and rehabilitation sciences at the Carver School of Medicine at the University of Iowa.

 “I am excited to work with the outstanding faculty and future motivated students of Manchester University,” he said. “Manchester’s commitment to service, integrity, and excellence coincide with the values of physical therapy profession and will become the underpinnings of this signature Doctor of Physical Therapy program. The region will benefit from the advent of this program, and I am thrilled to work with a strong team to serve the community of northeast Indiana.”

During his time at Fresno State, Singh received the Fresno State Outstanding Advisor Award, Exceptional Levels of Service to Students Award and the Promising New Faculty Award.

He founded and is director of the Fresno State Gait Analysis Movement Evaluation lab. In addition to studying the effect of obesity on physical activity, the lab hosts research collaborations and has received grant funding from several external agencies including the National Science Foundation

Singh also launched the Fresno State Amputee Clinic, connecting underserved Fresno-area amputees with physical therapists, doctors and prosthetics experts. This free, multidisciplinary health care approach provides services to amputees who might otherwise not have access to all of those services individually. The clinic allows students to apply their classroom experiences to benefit amputees and provides them opportunities to develop professional rapport with other members of the health care team, families and clients.

The proposed program at Manchester will focus on interprofessional collaborations as a routine part of students’ education. Manchester already has clinical rotation partnerships with health care providers in the region through its Pharmacy Program. There will also be opportunities for student research and service.

The addition of a doctoral program in physical therapy will build upon Manchester’s success in the health professions that began in 2012 with its Pharmacy Program and state-of-the-art building in Fort Wayne. They were funded through a $35 million grant from the Lilly Endowment that allowed Manchester to create a space where health science professionals can learn and grow together. 

Manchester’s next step was to establish the first pharmacogenomics master’s degree program in the nation, followed by a dual degree in pharmacy and pharmacogenomics. Manchester also recently expanded is graduate program in athletic training at the Fort Wayne campus.

The University is currently seeking accreditation to launch a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nutrition and Nutrigenomics.

Manchester Vice President Lea Johnson leads health science initiatives at Manchester.

 “We welcome Dr. Singh and are excited about the possibilities,” she said. “Physical therapy allows a diversity of practice areas and job opportunities for those who are looking for a profession where they can practice autonomy and pursue professional growth opportunities.”

Physical therapists develop and implement personalized plans of care that address each patient’s unique needs and goals for improving their ability to move and engage in daily activities, reducing pain or slowing functional decline. Care is provided in a variety of settings, including acute-care hospitals, outpatient hospital-based and private practices, rehabilitation facilities, retirement communities, home health agencies, schools, and sports and fitness venues. At Manchester, they will learn to work side by side with health care providers in other disciplines with the goal of serving the whole patient.

Manchester currently offers an undergraduate degree, clinical and rehabilitation sciences, that prepares students for graduate study in physical therapy and other related areas.

For the media
Dr. Lea Johnson, vice president for health science initiatives
16027 Diebold Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46845

Office of the President: To schedule an interview call 260-982-5050 or email

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January 2021