Principal Investigator

Dr. Karin Grävare Silbernagel PT, ATC, PhD

Karin Grävare Silbernagel is a Professor, Associate Chair at the Department of Physical Therapy at University of Delaware. Dr. Silbernagel received her bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy (1990) from Boston University, Advanced MSc in Physical Therapy (2001) and PhD in Orthopaedics (2006) from University of Gothenburg, Sweden. She was a postdoctoral researcher at University of Delaware, Department of Mechanical Engineering, funded by the Swedish Research Council. Dr. Silbernagel’s expertise is in orthopaedics and musculoskeletal injury with a focus on the lower extremity. She has been a physical therapist for 30+ years and her PhD in Orthopaedics was on the topic of Achilles tendinopathy. Her work has been directly integrated into clinical guidelines for treatment of patients with tendon injuries. She has presented her research at numerous conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals (100+ published articles to date). As the principal investigator of the Delaware Tendon Research Group and the Delaware ACL Research Group at the University of Delaware her research spans from the basic science to clinical intervention. Her research aims to advance understanding of tendon and ligament injuries and repair/reconstruction so that tailored treatments can be developed in individuals across the life span from sedentary to elite athletes. Her research is funded by the National Institute of Health, Foundation for Physical Therapy, Swedish Research Council for Sport Science, and Swedish Research Council.

Research Physical Therapists

Angela H. Smith

Dr. Angela H. Smith, PT, DPT, ATC

Angela H. Smith is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and dual Board-Certified Specialist in Sports and Orthopedics with 14 years of clinical experience. Dr. Smith received her undergraduate degree in Athletic Training and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy, both from the University of Delaware. She currently serves as the Research PT for the Delaware ACL Research group and the Delaware Tendon Research Group. Her research interests include rehabilitation of ACL injuries, post-operative return-to-sport testing, and treatment of lower extremity tendon injuries. Dr. Smith also owns a private practice in Wilmington, DE where she specializes in the treatment of the athletic population, with expertise in treating ACL/knee injuries and fitness athletes. Angela previously worked for 12 years as a physical therapist, clinical instructor, and residency mentor in University of Delaware’s Sports and Orthopedic Physical Therapy Clinic, while serving as a Research PT and Assistant Professor of Practice in the nation’s #1 ranked Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Post Docs

PhD Students

Brian Honick

Morgan N. Potter, PT, DPT

Morgan has been a PhD student in the Biomechanics and Movement Science Program since 2022. Morgan completed her undergraduate studies in Integrative Health Science at the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota in 2017. After college, she worked as a Research Assistant at Children’s Hospital Colorado in the Sports Medicine Department which is where she fell in love with physical therapy and rehabilitation science. This led her to the University of Delaware where she completed her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in December 2021. Morgan is active in the physical therapy clinic at UD treating patients and is a teaching assistant for multiple classes in University of Delaware’s Physical Therapy program.


Kayla Seymore, MS

Kayla Seymore has been a PhD student in the Biomechanics and Movement Science Program since 2020. As part of the UD Tendon Research Group, her work focuses on understanding the impact of lower limb musculoskeletal adaptations on Achilles tendon health and development in adolescents. Kayla has a Master’s degree in Exercise Sport Science, with a concentration in Biomechanics, from East Carolina University and previously worked as a Research Associate and Lab Manager at Boise State University’s Center for Orthopaedic & Biomechanics Research. She currently leads the Black Biomechanists Association, which she co-founded in 2020 with the mission to uplift and enrich Black biomechanists in their academic and professional careers.


Andy Smith, PT, DPT, MS

Andy Smith has been A PhD student in the Biomechanics and Movement Sciences Program since 2022. Andy received his Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Delaware. Prior to pursuing his DPT, Andy competed at the professional level in Track and Field racing the 800m event. Currently, Andy is exploring options for his research relating to the Achilles Tendon.

Hayley Smitheman

Hayley Smitheman, PT, DPT, ATC

Hayley Smitheman has been a PhD student in the Biomechanics and Movement Science Program since 2021. As part of the UD Tendon Research Group, her work focuses on understanding who develops insertional Achilles tendon injuries and how they respond to conservative and surgical treatments. Hayley is a certified Athletic Trainer and received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from East Carolina University where she also worked as a research assistant studying long term outcomes following Achilles tendon ruptures. She is currently a teaching assistant in Orthopedics coursework in UD’s Department of Physical Therapy.

Research Assistants/Undergraduate Students

  • Nnennaya Okorie
  • Kayla Miller

Past Lab Members

  • Naoaki Ito, PT, DPT, PhD (Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, University of Wisconsin)
  • Dr. Rodrigo Scattone da Silva, PT, MSc, PhD
  • Nabeel Alghamdi, BScPT, MSc, PhD (Assistant Professor – King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
  • Shawn Hanlon, MS, ATC, CSCS, PhD (Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus) 
  • Elanna Arhos, PT, DPT, PhD (Postdoctoral Researcher, Division of Physical Therapy, School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences, The Ohio State University)
  • Jennifer Zellers, PT, DPT, PhD (Assistant Professor – Program in Physical Therapy, Washington University in St. Louis)
  • Patrick Corrigan PT, DPT, PhD (Assistant Professor – Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, Saint Louis University)
  • Andrew Sprague, PT, DPT, PhD (Assistant Professor – Department of Physical Therapy, University of Pittsburgh)
  • Madeline Collazo Maguire, BS (MD Student, Drexel University College of Medicine)
  • Phoebe Balascio, BS (MS Student, University of Pittsburgh)
  • Haraldur ‘Halli’ Björn Sigurðsson, PT, PhD (Assistant Professor – University of Iceland)
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