Dr. Fernandez-Fernandez graduated from the University of Oviedo (Spain) with a degree in physical therapy. After moving to the U.S., she attended Florida International University where she earned a B.S. in Health Sciences, B.S. in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in chemistry, and M.S. in Physical Therapy. She then completed a post-professional Doctorate in Physical Therapy at Nova Southeastern University, and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Florida International University. Upon completion of her PhD, she earned the Outstanding Doctoral Degree Graduate Award from the FIU College of Engineering and Computing. She has also completed a specialized certificate (120 hours) in Biostatistics at the University of California San Diego.
Dr Fernandez-Fernandez is a Certified Neonatal Therapist, a Neonatal Developmental Care Specialist, a Prenatal and Postnatal Fitness Specialist, and a Certified Theratogs® Fitter.
Dr. Fernandez-Fernandez is course leader in PHT 6715: Essentials of Biomechanics and Kinesiology, and PHT 6813: Gender Issues in Physical Therapy. She also teaches in PHT 6817: Pediatrics I; and PHT 6819: Pediatrics II and helps in other classes as needed. She is involved in the PhD program as dissertation faculty and in independent study courses. She also teaches for the neurologic residency program, where she covers neurological diseases acquired in childhood/birth. In 2021, she received the NSU College of Health Care Sciences Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Scholarly Activities and Interests
Dr. Fernandez-Fernandez’s research interests are based on her dual professional background as a physical therapist and an engineer. Her research areas encompass pediatrics, biomechanics, clinical decision-making, educational innovation, and applications of nanotechnology and theranostics in cancer. She has published multiple peer-reviewed manuscripts, as listed in her Google Scholar profile linked above; she has written book chapters related to nanotechnology and pediatric physical therapy; and she has authored and presented abstracts and proceedings in national and international conferences. In 2015, she received the NSU College of Health Care Sciences Excellence in Faculty Scholarship Award, and she has obtained funding from several internal and external sources including the National Science Foundation. In 2023, she received the National Association of Neonatal Therapists Excellence in Research Award.
Areas of Practice
Dr. Fernandez-Fernandez practiced as a physical therapist in Spain, predominantly outpatient practice with all age groups, before moving to the U.S. She joined the South Miami Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in 2003 and continues to be involved on a PRN basis and providing pediatric clinical experiences to NSU students as part of their pediatric coursework. She is also active as a pediatric continuing education provider.
Professional Activity Summary
Dr. Fernandez-Fernandez has been an APTA member since 2000 and she is currently a member of the APTA Academies of Pediatrics, Research, Education, Pelvic Health, and Oncology. She is also a member of the National Association of Neonatal Therapists and the Biomedical Engineering Society. Dr Fernandez-Fernandez serves at the national level in several professional associations, including the APTA Academy of Pediatrics (chair of task force for pediatric sheet translation), Neonatal Therapy National Certification Board (examination manager and testing center liaison), and Alpha Eta Mu Beta (national treasurer, and co-chair of the MINDS Scholar Program). From 2015-2018, she also served in the Abstract Review Committee for the American Physical Therapy Association Section on Research. She reviews manuscripts for several professional journals including Pediatric Physical Therapy; Fisioterapia (Journal of the Spanish Physical Therapy Association); and International Journal of Nanomedicine; among others. Dr Fernandez-Fernandez has been an abstract reviewer and/or session chair in several local, national, and international conferences including NanoFlorida, World Confederation for Physical Therapy Congress, APTA Combined Sections Meeting (CSM), and BMES.