Physical Therapy Faculty Profile: Mary Sesto

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program educates a new cohort of 40 students per year, so at any time 120 students are matriculating through the program. Faculty and staff work in the program to educate students in the varying facets of physical therapy. Students are prepared to graduate as generalists with additional experiences in service learning, research, community service, business and education.

In the following Q&A, get to know Mary Sesto.

What is your current position?

I am an associate professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, and the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Can you describe your main duties?

Mary Sesto

I conduct research at the UW Carbone Cancer Center on how to design and use health information technology to improve care coordination among clinicians and patients in order to improve health outcomes in individuals diagnosed with cancer. My research team works to understand how to use technology to make it easier for everyone to have the information they need to provide the best care possible. I also teach in the research track in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. In addition, I mentor junior faculty, clinical researchers and graduate students in both SMPH and the College of Engineering.

When did you start working in the SMPH?

I joined the faculty in 2007.

What is your favorite part of your job?

The favorite part of my job is participating in interdisciplinary research and teaching activities. Due to the breadth of expertise at UW-Madison, I’m fortunate to be able to work on numerous projects that bring together individuals from different disciplines. As an example, I get to work with individuals who are experts in oncology, primary care, health informatics and quality improvement. These interdisciplinary collaborations allow us to tackle challenging problems that no one disciple can address.

Can you give us an example of your typical workday?

A typical workday would involve research, teaching and service activities.

Where are you from?

I came to Madison to complete my undergraduate degree and have been here ever since, but I grew up in Kenosha.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not at work?

My husband and I enjoy travel and outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and cross-country skiing.