Skip to main content


Faculty Research Areas

Dr. Christopher Arellano

I have a broad interest in understanding the biomechanics, energetics, and balance of human and animal locomotion. Current projects focus on four main areas:

  • Locomotor Training: develop training interventions aimed at improving muscle-tendon function, economy, and balance.
  • Stability and Muscle-Tendon Mechanics: investigate how the intrinsic properties of muscle and tendon... Learn More

Dr. Mark Clarke

Muscle physiology, muscle adaptation to mechanical loading, cellular basis of muscle function in health and disease. (Note: Dr. Clarke currently serves as Associate Provost for Faculty Development and Faculty Affairs)

Dr. Michael Cottingham

Promotional strategies in sport, consumer behavior, and disability sport

Dr. Stacey Gorniak

My research interests are directed towards understanding healthy and pathological neuromuscular control. Specifically, I am interested in sensorimotor function and how neurological and muscular pathology changes how we interact with our environment. I am interested in investigating how neural changes due to aging, chronic health conditions, and movement disorders affect functional actions including cognition and actions of daily living.

Dr. Marc Hamilton

Dr. Hamilton is an international expert in muscle physiology. He focuses on solving some of the most difficult scientific problems about metabolism and biochemistry. This includes developing a promising solution needed to sustain a higher metabolic rate across the whole lifespan. His laboratory has conducted both basic science research in animal models and translational work in humans to... Learn More

Dr. Billy Hawkins

Dr. Hawkins is a professor at the University of Houston in the department of Health and Human Performance. He is the author of The New Plantation: Black Athletes, College Sports, and Predominantly White NCAA Institutions; and co-author of Sport, Race, Activism, and Social Change: The Impact of Dr. Harry Edwards’ Scholarship and Service, The Athletic Experience at Historically Black Colleges and... Learn More

Dr. Daphne Hernandez

My graduate and postdoctoral training were in the areas of psychological services, developmental psychology, poverty, and public policy with mentors whose backgrounds were in psychology, sociology, and economics. Thus, I have been trained across several social science disciplines, and consequently, I do not identify with one particular discipline. The majority of my interdisciplinary research... Learn More

Dr. Craig Johnston

Dr. Johnston actively studies the behavioral treatment of obesity and related diseases. One of his primary areas of research within the treatment of obesity is the development of school-based interventions. Dr. Johnston is currently working to further develop his school-based intervention to prevent obesity in a high risk group of inner-city, low-income, minority adolescents.

Dr. Mark Knoblauch

My research has focused around the phenomenon of “skeletal muscle damage”, both in determining how skeletal muscle membrane structure influences this phenomenon as well as a mechanism for why certain pharmaceutical drugs (statins) trigger symptoms commonly associated with skeletal muscle damage. I have also developed an interest in various clinical measures of athletic injury assessment and care as well as the reliability of those measures.

Dr. Emily LaVoy

I investigate the effects of physical activity and exercise on our immune systems. My goal is to use this knowledge to modulate our immune systems to promote health. Using both basic and translational approaches, my research investigates how exercise improves diseases and conditions associated with immune dysregulation, such as cancer, addiction, and age-related declines in immunity. My research... Learn More

Dr. Charles Layne

I am interested in the development of human coordination primarily from a neuromuscular perspective. This interest is satisfied by investigating locomotion and posture processes. More recent interests include the role of somatosensory input on muscle contraction, particularly during adaptation to split-belt locomotion.

Dr. Tracey Ledoux

The ultimate goal of my research is to develop interventions to improve eating behaviors of all Americans. My research focuses on understanding, preventing, and correcting overeating behaviors in the early family unit. I rely on quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods to answer my research questions. Measures I most commonly use to assess variables of interest are reliable and validated... Learn More

Dr. Beom-Chan Lee

My research interests are 1) designing and developing a real-time biofeedback technology to prevent and reduce falls by leveraging fall recovery performance in individuals with a high risk of falling, 2) designing and developing a cell phone based platform for home-based balance rehabilitation and fall prevention applications, 3) designing and developing a wearable sensory augmentation system via... Learn More

Dr. Melissa Markofski

Dr. Markofski's overarching research question is How do exercise and nutrition encourage healthy aging? We know that people who are physically active have a lower risk of chronic diseases and decreased mortality, but what are the mechanisms for this benefit? Dr. Markofski is primarily interested in the contribution of the immune system and skeletal muscle to healthy aging, but acknowledges... Learn More

Dr. Daniel O'Connor

Dr. O’Connor’s interdisciplinary research agenda includes evaluating the effectiveness of health-related interventions, explaining individual variation in health outcomes, and investigating the effects of physical activity on health and risk factors. He has collaborated in research across many diverse fields and topics, including obesity, health and wellness, public health, kinesiology, exercise science, rehabilitation, movement disorders, physiology, and surgery.

Dr. Joyce Olushola Ogunrinde

The focus of my research is to understand the cultural meanings associated with sport for African-American communities and to redefine those meanings to create sport programs that can be leveraged to redress health, social, and economic disparities. In particular, I aim to identify the psychosocial effects of sport participation on the long-term personal growth and development of adolescents in... Learn More

Dr. Pranav Parikh

My research is primarily focused on understanding the sensorimotor mechanisms for motor control and learning in healthy young individuals, older adults, and patients with neurological diseases and injury. I am also interested in developing therapeutic strategies to improve sensorimotor function in older adults and patient populations. My current research uses the human hand as a model to... Learn More

Dr. Yoonjung Park

Exercise/Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Health: 1. To investigate the protective role of physical activity and exercise training in vascular (endothelial) dysfunction in the various pathophysiologic conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, aging (Alzheimer), microgravity, etc. in animal and human models 2. To elucidate the underlying mechanisms in which vascular... Learn More

Dr. Demetrius Pearson

Dr. Pearson’s research areas have focused on the socio-cultural and historical aspects of sport, as well as physical activity. Most recently he has conducted research and written about African American involvement in various sport forms, including North American Rodeo, as well as their depiction in contemporary sport films. He currently maintains a repository listing of American sport films... Learn More

Dr. Richard Simpson

Dr Simpson studies the effects of exercise and stress on the immune system. Major cross-cutting themes of his work are aging (immunosenescence), cancer and spaceflight. Specifically, Dr Simpson and his team study how single exercise bouts can be used to augment the recovery and expansion of specific immune cells that can be used therapeutically to treat patients with hematologic malignancies; and... Learn More

Dr. Adam Thrasher

Neuromuscular physiology and motor learning; Biomechanics and gait analysis; Electrical stimulation of paralyzed muscles to restore function; Rehabilitation engineering; Pathological locomotion. Experience During his postdoctoral fellowship in Toronto, Canada, Dr. Thrasher designed a research program in which he developed a new neuroprosthesis for walking therapy in people with chronic spinal... Learn More

Dr. David Walsh

My primary research aim is development through sport. I have two distinct focal applications for this aim. First, I examine how sport is used as a resource to overcome difficult life transitions in adulthood and its effects on quality of life. My research agenda is set up to test sport participation on various transition points across the life-course both cross-sectionally and longitudinally.... Learn More

Dr. Cynthia Yoon

My research is centered on social behavioral epidemiology, in particular the epidemiology of obesity. The overarching goal of my research is to reduce obesity by preventing maladaptive eating and encouraging adaptive eating. I am primarily interested in improving these behaviors by identifying psychosocial risk and protective factors that will be translated into interventions. My current research... Learn More