Bickel_SC. Scott Bickel, PT, PhD
Associate Professor
Office Phone: 205-934-5904
Office Fax:  205-975-7787
Office Location:  SHPB 387

Department(s) and Affiliations

Physical Therapy

Secondary appointment: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Center affiliations: Center for Exercise Medicine, Center for Aging, Nutrition Obesity Research Center, and Diabetes Research and Training Center

Areas of Research
Muscle fatigue; neuromuscular adaptations to alterations in physical activity history; optimization of electrical stimulation patterns to improve muscle performance; exercise interventions to improve health in special populations

Focus of Research
We focus on studying neuromuscular adaptations to alterations in physical activity history.  Central to this work is a focus on skeletal muscle, one of the most plastic tissues in the body.  Studies have investigated both central and peripheral mechanisms of muscle fatigue in old and young participants.  We also have a great deal of interest in the response of paralyzed muscle to electrical stimulation protocols.  Current projects are evaluating whether gender differences persist in skeletal muscle after spinal cord injury (SCI) and looking at the skeletal muscle glucose uptake signaling pathways in response to electrical stimulation.

Current methodology utilizes state of the art techniques for evaluating in-vivo neuromuscular function.  Tools such as electrical stimulation and electromyography are routinely used.  We have also developed important collaborations with highly-regarded investigators from other departments within UAB that include the Departments of Physiology and Biophysics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Human Studies, and others.  We also routinely conduct studies with our community partner, the Lakeshore Foundation (  We aim to study the mechanisms by which specific exercise interventions can improve the health of people with physical disability and we do this through detailed studies of the neuromuscular system.

Recent and Selected Publications
Bickel CS, Slade JM, Warren GL, and Dudley GA.  Fatigability and variable frequency train stimulation of human skeletal muscles.  Phys Ther., 83(4): 366-73, 2003.

Bickel CS, Slade JM, Haddad F, Adams GR, and Dudley GA.  The acute molecular responses of skeletal muscle to resistance exercise in able-bodied and spinal cord injured subjects.  J. Appl. Physiol., 94(6): 2255-62, 2003.

Olive JL, Slade JM, Bickel CS, Dudley GA, and McCully KK.  Increasing blood flow prior to exercise in spinal cord injured individuals does not alter muscle fatigue.  J. Appl. Physiol., 96(2): 477-482, 2004.

Modlesky CM, Bickel CS, Slade JM, Cureton KJ, Meyer RA, and Dudley GA.  Assessment of skeletal muscle mass in men with spinal cord injury using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and magnetic resonance imaging. J. Appl. Physiol., 96(2): 561-565, 2004.

Bickel CS, Slade JM, and Dudley GA.  Long-term spinal cord injury increases susceptibility to isometric contraction induced muscle injury.  Eur. J. of Appl. Physiol., 91(2-3), 308-313, 2004.

Bickel CS, Slade JM, VanHiel LR, Warren GL, and Dudley GA.  Variable frequency train stimulation of skeletal muscle after spinal cord injury.  J. Rehabil. Res. Dev., 41(1): 33-40, 2004.

Slade JM, Bickel CS, and Dudley GA.  The effect of a repeat bout of exercise on muscle injury in persons with spinal cord injury.  Eur. J. of Appl. Physiol., 92(3): 363-366, 2004.

Elder CP, Apple DF, Bickel CS, Meyer RA, and Dudley GA.  Intramuscular fat and glucose tolerance after spinal cord injury – a cross-sectional study.  Spinal Cord, 42(12): 711-716, 2004.

Bickel CS, Slade JM, Mahoney ET, Haddad F, Dudley GA, and Adams GR.  Time course of molecular responses of human skeletal muscle to acute bouts of resistance exercise.  J. Appl. Physiol., 98(2): 482-488, 2005.

Modlesky CM, Slade JM, Bickel CS, Meyer RA, and Dudley GA.  Deteriorated geometric structure and strength of the mid-femur in men with complete spinal cord injury.  Bone, 36(2): 331-339, 2005.

Slade JM, Bickel CS, Modlesky CM, Majumdar S, and Dudley GA.  Trabecular bone is more deteriorated in spinal cord injured vs estrogen-free post-menopausal women.  Osteoporos. Int., 16(3): 263-272, 2005.

Gregory CM and Bickel CS.  Recruitment patterns in human skeletal muscle during electrical stimulation.  Phys Ther., 85(4): 358-364, 2005.

Mahoney ET, Bickel CS, Elder C, Black C, Gorgey A, Slade JM, Apple D, and Dudley GA.  Changes in skeletal muscle size and glucose tolerance with electrically stimulated resistance training in subjects with chronic spinal cord injury.  Arch Phys Med Rehabil., 86(7):1502-1504, 2005.

Gregory CM, Dixon W, and Bickel CS.  Impact of varying pulse frequency and duration on muscle torque production and fatigue.  Muscle Nerve, 35(4):504-509, 2007.

Gregory CM, Bickel CS, Sharma N, and Dixon WE.  Comparing the force- and excursion-frequency relationships in human skeletal muscle.  Muscle Nerve, 38(6):1627-1629, 2008.

Ford MP, Malone L, Nyikos I, Yelisetty R, and Bickel CS.  Gait training with progressive external auditory cueing in persons with Parkinson’s disease.  Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 91(8):1255-1261, 2010.

Hunter GR, Bickel CS, Del Corral P, Byrne NM, Hills AP, Larson-Meyer DE, Bamman MM, Newcomer BR.  Age is associated with improved muscle fatigue resistance but decreased walking endurance in premenopausal women.  Eur. J. of Appl. Physiol., 111(4):715-723, 2011.

Bickel CS, Cross JM, and Bamman MM. Exercise dosing to retain resistance training adaptations in young and older adults.  Med Sci Sports Exerc. 43(7):1177-1187, 2011.

Bickel CS, Gregory CM, and Dean JC.  Motor unit recruitment during neuromuscular electrical stimulation: a critical appraisal.  Eur. J. of Appl. Physiol., 111(10):2399-2407, 2011.

Bickel CS, Gregory CM, and Azuero A.  Matching initial torque with different stimulation parameters influences skeletal muscle fatigue.  J. Rehabil. Res. Dev., 49(2), 2012.