Collaborators of Sports Medicine Research
Stephen J. Thomas, PhD, ATC | Co-founder
Stephen Thomas is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Exercise Science Department at Thomas Jefferson University. He completed his undergraduate and master’s degree in Kinesiology, at Temple University. He then earned his Ph.D. in Biomechanics & Movement Science at the University of Delaware. Dr. Thomas received an NIH F32 postdoctoral research fellowship in the bioengineering of tendon at the McKay Orthopaedic Research Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Thomas has research expertise in the adaptation of tissues to stress and overuse specifically at the shoulder. He is the current President of the American Society of Shoulder and Elbow Therapists. He is also a consultant for the Philadelphia Phillies and the Penn Throwing Clinic. His training in both basic science and applied research methods allows him to address clinically relevant questions with translation approaches thereby bridging the gap between bench and bedside. His initial work has contributed to the understanding of tissue adaptations in throwing athletes and how they relate to overuse shoulder injuries using novel diagnostic ultrasound methods. In addition, his basic science work studying the tissue and biologic adaptations to chronic rotator cuff tears and the effects of type II diabetes has also helped progress the current field. His current research agenda is two-fold and includes integration of translational research to investigate 1) the structural and biologic mechanisms governing soft tissue adaptation caused by the repetitive stress of throwing and the association with throwing biomechanics and 2) the structural, neuromuscular, and biologic adaptations occurring due to chronic rotator cuff tears and repairs.
Jeffrey B. Driban, Ph.D., ATC, CSCS | Co-founder
Jeffrey B. Driban, Ph.D., ATC, CSCS is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine and a member of the Special and Scientific Staff at Tufts Medical Center. The goal of his research is to explore novel biomarkers and imaging markers to better understand osteoarthritis pathophysiology and potential phenotypes. Dr. Driban received his Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training from the University of Delaware. He received a Master of Education and Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology with an Emphasis in Athletic Training from Temple University. He completed a post-doctoral research fellowship in the Division of Rheumatology at Tufts Medical Center. Dr. Driban also aims to raise awareness about osteoarthritis and promote primary and secondary prevention strategies for physically active individuals as the Chair of the Athletic Trainers’ Osteoarthritis Consortium and by serving as the Chair of the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance. Dr. Driban serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Rheumatology, BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, Journal of Athletic Training, and International Journal of Athletic Training and Therapy.
Lisa (Chinn) Custer, Ph.D., ATC
Lisa (Chinn) Custer, Ph.D., ATC is an Associate Professor of Kinesiology at Towson University where she teaches in the athletic training program. Her research interest is the neuromuscular and sensorimotor adaptations following joint pathologies, focusing primarily on ankle sprains.
Joshua Baracks, ATC
Joshua Baracks, ATC is a Certified Athletic Trainer and study coordinator for the SUNY Upstate Medical University Concussion Research Program. Originally from Long Island, he graduated in 2014 from the University of Pittsburgh’s Athletic Training Education Program and then completed a year internship with the Syracuse University football team. His work for SUNY Upstate Medical University includes the design, implementation, and publication of studies focusing on the developing objective measurements to diagnose and assess concussion injuries. He also acts as a per diem athletic trainer for Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists. Previous work has also included interning for the New York Lizards of Major League Lacrosse and the Israeli National Lacrosse team.
Nicole Cattano, PhD, MPH, LAT, ATC
Nicole Cattano, Ph.D., MPH, LAT, ATC is an Associate Professor/Graduate Program Coordinator in the Department of Sports Medicine at West Chester University of Pennsylvania where she serves in a dual faculty role as a faculty member and clinical athletic trainer for the Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams. She received her Ph.D. from Temple University in 2014, her Master’s in Public Health from West Chester University, and her BS in Exercise and Sport Science from University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Nicole’s research interests are in evidence-based practice, long-term effects of knee injuries, post-traumatic osteoarthritis, patient-reported outcomes, and injury prevention. Through her line of research, she hopes to identify early interventions for athletic knee injuries to promote a safe return to activity that prevents or slows the progression to osteoarthritis. Knees with Effusion. Through her line of research, she hopes to identify early interventions for athletic knee injuries to prevent or slow the progression to osteoarthritis.
Kathleen Cummer, PhD, PT, DPT (CKTP)
Kathleen Cummer is a physical therapist and lecturer in the Physical Therapy Program at the University of Washington. Kathleen teaches and assists in orthopedic courses such as musculoskeletal clinical management, kinesiology, modalities and basic procedures. She previously taught in a physical therapist assistant program and managed the program as its director. Kathleen’s doctoral work focused on return-to-sport after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction in the athletic population. She received her DPT from Ithaca College and PhD from the University of Delaware.
Alexandra F DeJong Lempke, PhD, ATC
Alexandra is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention through Boston Children’s Hospital in the Division of Sports Medicine and the Department of Orthopedics. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training from the University of Pittsburgh in 2016, completed her Master’s of Education in Kinesiology with a focus in Athletic Training from the University of Virginia in 2017, and her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Sports Medicine from the University of Virginia is 2021. Her current research interests include quantifying gait mechanics using wearable technology for youth runners, and exploring running-related injury risk factors. Additionally, she has used musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging to investigate proximal muscle adaptations in lower extremity injury populations.
Kristopher Fayock, MD
Kristopher Fayock, MD is a board-certified family physician with a certificate of added qualification in primary care sports medicine. He is the Program Director for the Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship in the Department of Family and Community Health at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA). He is a team physician for Penn Athletics. He completed his family medicine residency and sports medicine fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in 2012. He obtained a BS in Biochemistry at Wilkes University (Wilkes-Barre, PA) and completed his medical school training at Jefferson Medical College (Philadelphia, PA) in 2008. He is originally from Bloomsburg, PA. He is a reviewer for the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine.
Dustin Grooms, Ph.D., ATC, CSCS
Dustin Grooms, Ph.D., ATC, CSCS, is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Athletic Training at Ohio University. He is also an Affiliated Scientist with the university’s Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute. He received his doctorate from Ohio State University in health and rehabilitation sciences with a focus on neuroscience and biomechanics. Prior to pursuing doctoral studies, Dr. Grooms was an assistant athletic trainer and instructor at the College of Mount Saint Joseph in Cincinnati Ohio, completed a master’s degree from the University of Virginia in kinesiology and a bachelor’s degree from Northern Kentucky University in Athletic Training. Dr. Grooms’ research is focused on the neuroplasticity associated with musculoskeletal injury and rehabilitation. He can be reached at: groomsd @ ohio.edu.
Kyle P. Harris, MS, ATC
Kyle P. Harris, MS, ATC is an instructor at Temple University. Kyle graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science: Athletic Training from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania in 2008. In 2010 he earned his Masters of Science in Kinesiology: Athletic Training from Temple University. He currently teaches First Aid/CPR, Introduction to Health, and Principles and Applications of Diet and Fitness at Bucks County Community College. Kyle also functions as an adjunct faculty member at Temple University where he teaches Anatomy and Physiology I labs. Kyle’s current research focuses on performing systematic evaluations of studies comparing the prevalence of knee OA after surgical or conservative care for ACL injuries in hopes of reducing long term risks.
Joe Hart, PhD, ATC
Joe Hart, Ph.D., ATC is an Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at the University of Virginia where he teaches and advises students in the undergraduate Kinesiology program and graduate programs in athletic training and sports medicine. The area of research interest is neuromuscular adaptations to joint injury during exercise and the progression of post-traumatic osteoarthritis.
Marc Harwood, MD
Dr. Marc Harwood, MD is a board certified non-surgical sports medicine physician with the Rothman Institute. He is a team physician for the Philadelphia Phillies and serves as a sports medicine consultant for several local high schools and elite level dancers at the Rock School of Dance Education, University of the Arts, and the Pennsylvania Ballet.
Jeremy D. Howard, EdD, LAT, ATC, RCSS, CSCS
Jeremy D. Howard, EdD, LAT, ATC, RCSS, CSCS is a Warrant Officer in the Florida Army National Guard where he serves under the Office of the State Surgeon in a dual role as both the State Health Promotion Officer and State Resilience Coordinator. Jeremy enlisted in the Army National Guard in February of 2002 and appointed as a Warrant Officer in September of 2017, he is a veteran of both Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan (2009-2010) and Operation Inherent Resolve-Iraq (2021). Prior to Jeremy taking his full-time position in the Florida Army National Guard he worked as the Head Football Athletic Trainer and Athletic Trainer for Baseball, Women’s Basketball, Men’s and Women’s Golf, and Cheerleading at Ave Maria University. He received both his EdD (2021) and Masters of Health Sciences (2016) from the University of Saint Augustine for Health Sciences, and he received his Bachelors of Science in Athletic Training from the Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU, #DunkCity) in 2015. Jeremy’s research interests include concussions/mTBIs, resilience training’s effects on performance and perception of resilience, Soldier suicide prevention, and injury-prevention programs. Jeremy serves as a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Tactical Strength and Conditioning (TSAC) Special Interest Group (SIG) and has previously been a contributor to the NATA’s BOC Blog.
Christopher Kuenze, MA, ATC
Christopher Kuenze, MA, ATC is a doctoral student at the University of Virginia, Curry School of Education, in the Sports Medicine and Athletic Training Program. He is also a research assistant in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Sports Medicine Division. His research interest is the neuromuscular consequences of knee joint injury and the effects of exercise on neuromuscular function following joint injury.
Sarah Ilkhanipour Rooney
Landon Lempke is a doctoral candidate at the University of Georgia working towards a PhD in kinesiology and is an active member in the UGA Concussion Research, Biomechanics, and Athletic Training Laboratories. He completed his bachelor’s degree in athletic training at Illinois State University in 2016, and completed his master’s degree in kinesiology (athletic training) at the University of Virginia in 2017. His research interests are in reaction time assessments and human movement following concussion, as well as neurophysiologic factors that may predispose individuals to musculoskeletal injury following concussion.
Catherine E. Lewis
Andrew Lynch, PT, Ph.D.
Jane McDevitt, Ph.D., ATC
Laura M. McDonald, Ph.D., ATC
Laura M. McDonald, Ph.D., ATC is a Biomechanist, Athletic Trainer, and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with research experience in the area of softball pitching biomechanics. As a former Division 1 pitcher at Canisius College, Laura’s own struggles with shoulder injury fueled her passion for pursuing biomechanics and injury prevention in softball pitchers.
While completing a Master of Science in Exercise Science and PhD in Biomechanics and Movement Science at the University of Delaware, Laura worked as an athletic trainer with the Women’s Softball and Volleyball teams.
Prior to joining S2Breakthrough, Laura worked in higher education as a professor in undergraduate Athletic Training and Exercise Science programs. At S2Breakthrough, she serves as Lead Biomechanist and Director of Athlete Performance and Health, overseeing the implementation of advanced technology for athlete assessment and building training programs to support long-term player development.
Ryan Paul, BS
Ryan W. Paul, BS is currently a sports medicine research fellow at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute. He received his Bachelors degree in Exercise and Sport Science from Temple University in 2020. He has researched tissue adaptations to overhead athletes for several years in the Adaptations to Repetitive Motion and Stress (ARMS) lab. He hopes to attend medical school and continue researching both orthopedic interventions and adaptations to throwing athletes. He is originally from Bayville, New Jersey..
Mark Rice, MS, ATC
Adam B. Rosen, Ph.D., ATC
Katherine (Katie) Reuther, Ph.D.
Rebecca Rodriguez, MS, ATC, CSCS
Rebecca Rodriguez is an Assistant Athletic Trainer at a NCAA Division III university in Oregon and a doctoral candidate at A.T. Still University. She holds a Masters in Kinesiology from A.T. Still University and a double bachelors degree in Athletic Training and Allied Health from George Fox University. Rebecca has been practicing as an athletic trainer since 2012 and has professional experience in the high school, collegiate, and military settings. Her research interests include shoulder injuries in overhead athletes and kinesiophobia related to athletic injury and return to play.
Dr. Stephen Stache, MD
Danielle M. Torp, MS, ATC
Cade Watts, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS
Cade is currently working in an industrial setting as an Injury Prevention Specialist and plans to complete his Master of Public Health at Shenandoah University (SU) in December 2023. He also graduated from SU with a BS in Exercise Science (minoring in public health) in 2021. His primary research interest is concussion risk reduction through cervical biomechanical modifications and skeletal muscle adaptations. He also has research interests in post-injury athlete mental health.
Jennifer Xu, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS
Jennifer Xu is a doctoral student at the University of Virginia working towards a PhD in Kinesiology/Sports Medicine, and she conducts her research at the Exercise and Sport Injury Laboratory. Previously, she received her M.S. in Health and Human Movement from Utah State University in 2020 where she worked with the football and volleyball teams, and she obtained her B.S. in Athletic Training from the University of Pittsburgh in 2017. Her research interests include assessing foot health and rates and risks of foot injury, with specific interest in how the strength of the intrinsic foot muscles play a role in these areas. She is also interested in studying the effects of minimalist footwear in clinical populations, and hopes to find her footing in improving interventions for foot injuries.