William Thompson, Ph.D., DPT, is an associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. Thompson’s research efforts focus on understanding the influence of mechanical force on the musculoskeletal system. In addition to Thompson’s research, he teaches several courses within physical therapy curriculum, including the “Prosthetics and Orthotics” and “Introduction to Exam and Assessment.” Thompson also created and manages the “Case-Series Rounds” courses. Before beginning his appointment at Indiana University, Thompson was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Thompson has remained an active clinician working with patients, he currently provides care at IU Methodist Hospital. Thompson has been recognized with awards from institutions including the Foundation for Physical Therapy, the APTA, the Orthopedic Research Society, and the American Bone and Mineral Society. Thompson graduate summa cum laude with a B.S. in biochemistry from Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. He earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy and Ph.D. from the University of Delaware. His Ph.D. was in biomechanics and movement science, with an emphasis on molecular biology and genetics. Thompson completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which was funded by an NIH F32 award.
Thompson enjoys interacting with students. The addition of the “Case-Series Rounds” course has brought an added dimension to the department curriculum. In this course, a different clinician presents a new case each week to all three physical therapy cohorts within the same classroom. This environment allows all three classes to participate in a discussion about the patient’s care, moving from evaluation to treatment and discharge. This course builds upon the critical thinking skills gained during didactic lectures and clinical rotations, creating well-rounded clinicians.
Thompson’s lab studies the effects of mechanical loading on bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells and osteocytes. Each of these cell types within the skeleton influences bone growth and development in response to forces incurred during exercise. Thompson also studies how mechanical forces regulate the metastatic properties of cancer, and their subsequent ability to cause bone destruction. The Thompson lab is funded by the NIH and the DOD.
Williams JN, Kambrath AV, Patel RB, Mével E, Li Y, Chen YH, Kang KS, Hassert MA, Voor MJ, Kacena MA, Thompson WR, Warden SJ, Burr DD, Robling AG, Allen MR, Sankar U. Inhibition of CaMKK2 Enhances Fracture Healing by Stimulating Indian Hedgehog Expression and Accelerating Endochondral Ossification. JBMR. 2018;33(5):930-944.
Thompson WR, Yen S, Uzer G, Xie Z, Sen B, Styner M, Burridge K, Rubin J. LARG GEF and ARHGAP18 orchestrate RhoA activity to control mesenchymal stem cell lineage. Bone. 2018;107:172-180.
Warden SJ, Thompson WR. Becoming One with the Force: Optimizing Mechanotherapy through an Understanding of Mechanobiology. BJSM. 2017;51(13):989-990.
Uzer G, Fuchs RK, Rubin J, Thompson WR. Plasma and Nuclear Membranes Convey Mechanical Information to Regulate Mesenchymal Stem Cell Lineage. Stem Cells. 2016;34(6):1455-63.
Thompson WR, Scott A, Loghmani MT, Ward SR, Warden SJ. Understanding Mechanobiology enabling Physical Therapy to be a Force in Mechanotherapy. Phys Ther. 2016;96(4):560-9.
Thompson WR, Uzer G, Brobst KE, Yen S, Xie Z, Sen B, Styner M, Rubin J. Osteocyte Specific Responses to Soluble and Mechanical Stimuli in a Stem Cell Derived Culture Model. Scientific Reports. 2015;5:11049.
Uzer G, Thompson WR, Case N, Xie Z, Sen B, Yen S, Styner M, Rubin C, Judex S, Burridge K, Rubin J. Cell Mechanosensitivity to Extremely Low Magnitude Signals is Enabled by a LINCed nucleus. Stem Cells. 2015;33(6):2063-76.
Thompson WR, Yen S, Rubin J. Vibration Therapy: Clinical Applications in Bone. Curr Opin in Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2014;21(6):447-53.