KAAP Research 

Athletic Training Research Lab

The primary focus of this lab within the domain of Sports Medicine is to study sensorimotor and neurocognitive aspects of musculoskeletal related injury. In addition, there is a strong emphasis on sport related concussions.

Website:  Athletic Training Research Lab
Director:  Thomas W. Kaminski

Current Projects
  • Examine injury mechanisms, prevention and rehabilitation strategies in athletes for accelerated return to competition

Biomechanics Lab

Research in this lab focuses on a broad range of topics in biomechanics, including gait mechanics, figure skating simulation software, biomechanical analysis of sport, clinical applications of biomechanics, rehabilitation biomechanics, pediatric obesity, and community-based activity programs.

Website:  Biomechanics Research Lab
Director:  James G. Richards

Current Projects
  • Gait mechanics that contribute to risk factors associated with the development of knee osteoarthritis, and gait mechanics and energetics of human locomotion
  • Developing custom Figure Skating Simulation Software program to be used in support of a project funded by United Sates Figure Skating
  • Development of new tools for measurement and analysis of human motion and biomechanical analysis of sport
  • Rehabilitation biomechanics, pediatric obesity, and community-based activity programs
  • Modulating asymmetrical lower-extremity joint loading via split-belt treadmill ambulation
  • The inter-relationship among load carriage, gait mechanics and metabolic cost
  • Measurement of scapular orientation and position using motion capture technology.
  • Rapid manufacture of personalized rehabilitation devices
    Gait Adaptations to Passive Dynamic Ankle-Foot Orthosis Use
  • Changes in the distribution of human body shape incidences and incidence of overweight and obesity in US children
  • Ankle Joint Pseudo Stiffness Changes with Walking Velocity
  • Roll-over dynamics during natural walking

Cardiovascular Nutrition Lab

Our research seeks to understand the role of nutrition in cardiovascular disease. 

Website:  Cardiovascular Nutrition Research Lab 
Director:  Shannon L. Lennon

Current Projects
  • Vascular Effects of Dietary Potassium in Humans
  • Vascular Effects of Dietary Salt in Humans with Salt-Resistant Blood Pressure
  • The Role of Antioxidants on Attenuating the Acute Effects of a Salty Meal
  • Vegetarian Diets and Vascular Function

Cardiovascular Physiology Lab

The focus of this lab is to examine blood pressure regulation and autonomic nervous system function in humans.

Website:  Cardiovascular Physiology Research Lab
Director:  William B. Farquhar

Current Projects
  • Vascular Function and Diet
  • Neural Control of the Cardiovascular System in Health and Disease

Concussion Research Lab

The overarching goals of the Concussion Research Group are to explore balance following sports related concussion particularly during recovery and beyond return to participation & to investigate the effect of repetitive head impacts on neurological health and physiology in collision sport athletes.

Website:  Concussion Research Lab
Director: Thomas A. Buckley

Current Projects
  • NCAA/DoD Grand Alliance Concussion Education Research Education (CARE) program
  • Unresolved Post-Concussion Balance Deficits and Subsequent Musculoskeletal Injury
  • Neurobiological Consequences Subconcussive Impacts and Concussion in Ice Hockey
  • Effects of Dual-Task Cognitive Training on Head Impact Kinematics

Control of Balance and Locomotion Lab

The primary goal of the CoBaL lab is to understand the neural and biomechanical basis of human upright balance. The bipedal human is inherently unstable and needs a sophisticated control system to remain upright. We investigate how the nervous system uses sensory information (vision, inner ear) to estimate body dynamics and guide motor processes for upright balance control. The applied goal is to better understand patient populations with neurological disease and injury that lead to balance problems.

Website:  Control of Balance and Locomotion Research Lab
Director:  John J. Jeka

Current Projects
  • Mechanisms of Balance Control during Locomotion
  • Sub-Concussion and Balance Control
  • Treadsense
  • ArmSense
  • Sensory Processing and Balance Control during Walking in CP
  • Sensory Processing and Balance Control during Walking in Parkinson’s Disease
  • Balance During Obstacle Avoidance
  • Sensor Fusion for Balance Control in Children with Cerebral Palsy

Developmental Motor Control Lab

Research focuses on ways to improve the ability of children to move successfully in their everyday lives. In particular, we study the development of motor control and coordination as well as perceptual/cognitive/motor relationships in typically and atypically developing children and adults.

Website:  Developmental Motor Control Research Lab
Director:  Nancy Getchell

Current Projects
  • Prefronal cortex activation patterns as function of motor planning with different Tower of Hanoi puzzles in children with and without Developmental Coordination Disorder
  • A longitudinal study of neural biomarkers of brain plasticity in a biofeedback rehabilitation protocol for stroke patients

Exercise Neuroscience Lab

The goal of the ExNeuro Lab is to provide new knowledge about the use of exercise to improve mobility and fitness in people with Parkinson’s disease and older adults. We focus on the effects of exercise on the nervous system and the prevention of age- or disease-related slowing.

Website:  Exercise Neuroscience Research Lab
Director:  Christopher A. Knight

Current Projects
  • Coming Soon

Falls and Mobility Lab

The long-term goal of our research is to reduce the incidence of falls, lessen the severity of fall injury, and enable physical activity in patient populations. We employ clinical and biomechanical analyses of mobility and balance, including tests of fall recovery. Our research is applicable to many groups of people, including older adults, individuals with chronic stroke, and children with cerebral palsy.

Website:  Falls and Mobility Research Lab
Director:  Jeremy Crenshaw

Current Projects
  • Fall-recovery training for individuals with chronic stroke
  • Development of a comprehensive evaluation of postural control in children with cerebral palsy
  • A study of how counter-rotation movements help maintain balance
  • The effects of backward walking training on balance, mobility, strength and fall recovery in older adults

Molecular Physiology Lab

The focus of our lab is to understand the molecular mechanisms responsible for physiological and pathological processes. Our lab primarily focuses on skeletal muscle related pathologies and sports related head impact.

Website:  Molecular Physiology Research Lab
Director:  Matthew Hudson

Current Projects
  • Neurological and Neuromuscular disorders including head impact/injury
  • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
  • Tay-Sachs Disease
  • Cachexia and Muscle Atrophy

Motor Control Lab

Our research is focused on the hand function as seen through force coordination of various manipulation tasks & the evaluation of neuromuscular function and movement performance through novel muscle strength and power tests.

Website:  Motor Control Research Lab
Director:  Slobodon Jaric

Current Projects
  • Not currently accepting students

Neuromechanics Lab

Our lab studies the neurologic and biomechanical aspects of injury proneness. Most common neuromusculoskeletal injuries are caused by brief errors in judgment and coordination. This momentary loss of situational awareness can be studied by measuring how the brain controls protective muscle tone/stiffness. Life often requires focused attention and split-second decisions to avoid unintentional injuries so applying our results to injury prevention and rehabilitation programs will help mitigate future accidents.

Website:  Neuromechanics Research Lab
Director:  Charles (Buz) Swanik

Current Projects
  • Neuromechanical contributions to hamstring stiffness dysregulation and injury
  • Neuromechanical links between cognition, fear, and joint instability
  • Factors influencing upper extremity tissue characteristics and injury in youth overhead athletes

Neurovascular Aging Lab

Our laboratory is interested in understanding the mechanisms by which impaired vascular function contributes to cognitive impairment and risk of Alzheimer’s disease in older adults. Our long term goal is to develop novel pharmacological, lifestyle and dietary interventions to delay or reverse age-associated cognitive decline by increasing blood flow to the brain.

Website:  Neurovascular Aging Research Lab
Director:  Christopher R. Martens

Current Projects
  • Effect of nicotinamide riboside supplementation on memory and cerebrovascular function in patients with MCI
  • Mechanisms of impaired cerebrovascular function in human aging
  • Impact of vascular aging on brain stiffness and cognitive function

Orthotics & Prosthetics for Enhanced Mobility Lab

Our lab primary focuses on orthotic and prosthetic biomechanics, with goals of understanding the interaction between the human musculoskeletal system and orthotic/prosthetic devices, and optimizing the design and prescription of orthotic and prosthetic devices to enable all orthotic and prosthetic users to reach their optimal functional level. To achieve these goals, we employ engineering tools alongside experimental and computational biomechanical approaches.

Website:  Orthotics & Prosthetics for Enhanced Mobility Research Lab
Director:  Elisa S. Arch

Current Projects
  • Personalization of ankle-foot orthoses for individuals post-stroke
  • Quantification of ankle stiffness during different activities
  • Optimization of the design of passive-dynamic ankle-foot orthoses
  • Assessment of the accuracy of a mobile gait analysis system for prosthetic users
  • Evaluation of the interaction between orthotic and prosthetic devices and the musculoskeletal system

Vascular Function in Chronic Disease Lab

Our laboratory is interested in understanding vascular function and blood flow regulation throughout the lifespan and in the face of chronic disease, with particular emphasis on cardiovascular disease. Our long term goal is to improve the overall health and ultimately quality of life in these people through exercise, lifestyle, and pharmacological interventions.

Website:  Vascular Function in Chronic Disease Research Lab
Director:  Melissa Witman

Current Projects
  • Vascular Consequences of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
  • Arterial Stiffness and Vascular Function in Children
  • Vascular Function in Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Assessment of Vascular Function: Changes throughout the Menstral Cycle

Vascular Physiology Lab

The focus of this lab is studying vascular function/dysfunction in healthy and diseased states, with particular emphasis on chronic kidney disease. Additionally, vascular responses to exercise and diet are studied. A variety of techniques are utilized to examine macro- and microvascular function as well as arterial stiffness in humans and animal models.

Website:  Vascular Physiology Research Lab
Director:  David G. Edwards

Current Projects

Womens Cardiovascular Research Lab

Our research focus is on cardiovascular health in women throughout the lifespan. We study mechanism contributing to vascular dysfunction in women as they age, and the role estrogen may play in maintaining vascular health. We also study blood pressure regulation in women to understand why the prevalence of hypertension is greater in women after menopause. 

Website:  Womens Cardiovascular Research Lab
Director:  Megan Wenner

Current Projects
  • Effects of Menopause on Vascular Function in Women
  • Estrogen effects on Vascular Function in Women
  • Vascular Function in Hypertensive Women
  • Impacts of Dietary Salt on Sympathetic Blood Pressure Regulation (Collaboration: William Farquhar & Sean Stocker)