Debbie Kelly has 36 years of experience in physical therapy with an emphasis on the
integumentary system including thermal injury, acute and chronic wounds and lymphedema.
She has been a faculty member at the University of Kentucky for the past 30 years. Professor
Kelly’s research focus has been directed towards the early detection and accurate diagnosis
of lymphedema as well as the role that MLD plays in lymphangiogenesis. She has written a
textbook for health professionals: A Primer on Lymphedema, published by Prentice Hall, on
current lymphedema management concepts. Debbie has been an advocate within the state of
Kentucky for the introduction and advancement of patient education and effective intervention
for lymphedema. A recent grant funded the construction of a device which will mimic the forces
applied during MLD so that the mechanisms of MLD can be studied in the rodent model. She
has completed special education in lymphedema management, including Certification in MLD/
CDT, intermediate and advanced training. She currently serves on the Exam Committee and the
Qualifications Committee of the LANA Board of Directors. In addition to full time teaching, research
and service assignments, she treats patients with lymphedema, both in a private practice and at
the University of Kentucky Clinic.